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'Wikirri' by Jakayu Biljabu, 2007

Object type

Object number

A painting on brown linen with a white dot edged light blue circle from which emanates three lines in stripes of red yellow, black and white dots. The vertical line has a filling of red and green horizontal lines with white and yellow dots on some edges and fillings. To the left side of the painting are five red and beige shapes with pale pink or dark red dotted edges. Below this is a section of yellow, white, green and dark red dots. On the right lower side of the painting is a section with rows of white and dark red dots below a section of closely filled yellow and beige dots. Above the horizontal lines with the blue circle in the centre is a section of green, light pink, maroon, white, yellow and beige. The left edge has the numbers and text "56 61 x 92cm JB/72/MM 36 x 24". On the back of the canvas is a stamp with text which reads "Cat # 72 / form. / The / Canning / Stock / Route / Project".

This painting is a Jukurrpa story about the seed that spread out from Wikirri, a site which lies to the east of Warntili (well 25). The white in the picture is mujuju seed and the yellow is nyunjin seed. Various kinds of bush tucker are also depicted. The green areas of the painting represent trees. The story for this Country, as outlined by the artist, centres around Wirnpa and another man were travelling from the west in the Jukurrpa. When he landed at Wikirri, he spread all the food, mitutu, nyunjin and yukiri seeds. At Yinyaru, they saw flashing lights and the man found an enormous hailstone pulsating with light. He flew with Wirnpa, holding the hailstone against his belly. He dropped it when it became too heavy, and they picked it up and kept going.

Collection name
Canning Stock Route collection

Collection statement of significance
The Canning Stock Route collection is comprised of 125 works and includes paintings, drawings, baskets, boomerangs, coolamons, headdresses, carved figures and shields.

The Canning Stock Route is a no-longer-used cattle droving route that traverses the Great Sandy and Gibson Deserts of central Western Australia. Comprised of 48 wells along an 1800 kilometres stretch of track, the route links Wiluna in the south with Sturt Creek in the north and traverses the traditional lands of nine Aboriginal language groups. The route was founded in 1905 when Alfred Canning was commissioned to investigate a route suitable for the droving of 500 head of cattle, with water sources spaced at intervals of no more than one day's walk apart. Although Canning's map records observations of the land and water resources, it makes no mention of Indigenous places and their associated meanings which the route traversed. This collection, composed of 'painting stories', sculptural works and oral histories, re-dresses Canning's omission and records the impact of the stock route on Indigenous lives and country. A six week journey with traditional owners held in July and August of 2007 inspired the artworks, many of which were produced during the journey, and provided an opportunity for more than 70 senior and emerging artists to reconnect with traditional lands..

Jakayu Biljabu

Production place
Kilykily, Western Australia, Australia

Production date

Associated organisation
Martumili Artists
Art centre

Associated place
Canning Stock Route, , Australia

Linen, Acrylic paint

Width: 620mm
Height: 915mm
Depth: 25mm

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