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  • Open today 9am–5pm
  • Free general admission

Warakurna: All the Stories Got into our Minds and Eyes features a collection of Western Desert paintings which use a more figurative style to recreate scenes of everyday life and to tell historical and contemporary stories. These paintings combine familiar Western Desert symbols and dots with a new, more figurative style, to recreate scenes of everyday life and to tell historical and contemporary stories.

Many of the works were donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program by Wayne and Vicki McGeoch. These works show travels and ceremony, bush camps and life at the Warburton mission.

Eunice Yunurupa Porter:

Ngurrangka-latju nyinarra tjamuku kaparliku ngurrangka. Tjukurrpa ngaparrku-ngaparrku nintira nyuntulu-yan kulira nintirrinytjaku.

We are living in our grandfathers’ and grandmothers’ country. We are sharing our stories with you so that you can learn about them.
Warakurna works explained 11:45

Warakurna artists Eunice Porter and Judith Chambers, in Canberra for the official launch of the exhibition, explain the 'pukulpa' or happiness derived from sharing stories, culture and paintings with their children and the broader community. Recorded at the National Museum in December 2012

Our community

Eunice Yunurupa Porter:

Pukurlpa-latju palyara community walykumunu Warakurnala tjanpi, painting. Nyakula-ya pukurlarringkula. Tjitji, minyma, wati ngurra ngaakutu pitjal art centre ngaangka palyara. Tjitji marlatja-marlatjaluya lurrtjurringkula tjamu kaparlilu palyara. Purlkarringkulalpi painting, purnu, puru tjanpi palyanma ngayulu-latju wiyarringkula.

We are happy here in the community of Warakurna doing our paintings and tjanpi (woven fibre sculptures). When people see them they feel happy. Children, women and men come to this art centre to paint and make things. Children of the younger generation are growing up painting alongside grandfathers and grandmothers. When they get older they will continue doing painting, artefacts and tjanpi when our generation has passed on.

Early days

Eunice Yunurupa Porter:

Ngarnmanypalpi-latju nyinapayi purtingka. Tjamulu kaparlilu tjukurrpa nintipungkupayi palyaratjaku, turlku kanturatjaku, minyma nyanpirratjaku. Mission tayim-latju nyinarranytja. MacDougall and Macaulaylu mirrka katipayi purtingka nyinarranyangka. Katipayi-tjananya missionkutu. Palunyalulatju palyara kulipayi.

In the early days, we always lived in the bush. Grandfathers and grandmothers were teaching the Dreaming stories, teaching us to do the men’s dances and the women’s dances. In the mission time we were living there (at Warburton). MacDougall and Macaulay (patrol officers) would bring food for people living in the bush and would take them into the mission. We are thinking about those things and doing these paintings.

Back to the land

Eunice Yunurupa Porter:

Nyinarrayirnu-latju wantingu-latju kulirnu yankukitjalu ngurrarakutu. Palunyalu-latju miitingi wangkangu governmenta. Watjarnu, ‘Yuwa yanku-yankun ngurrakutu.’ Mularrpartu ngurrakutu-ngurrakutu-latju yanu.

After living (at Warburton mission) we were thinking about leaving and going back to our home country. We had a meeting with the government. They told us we could go to our own country. So sure enough we went to our own homelands.

They came to our land

Eunice Yunurupa Porter

Pitjangu-lampatju ngayuku manta Ngaanyatjarrakutu. Pitjala-ya yankupayi.

These are stories about people who came to our land. They came and went back again.

Living in our land

Eunice Yunurupa Porter:

Ngaanya kuwarrinya-latju palyara. Lurrtjurringkula community Tjukurla, Blackstone, Jameson, wangkarra miitingi, purnu tjanpi palayara, ngarlpurringkula tjapu-tjapu.

These paintings are about what we do these days. We join with the communities of Tjukurla, Blackstone and Jameson, have meetings, make tjanpi (woven fibre) and purnu (carved wood) sculptures, and play football and softball.
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