'Jardiwarnpa — a Warlpiri fire ceremony', 1993
Jardiwarnpa re-enacts the world-making journeys of Yarripiri, the snake that travelled north into Warlpiri country. Warlpiri perform this ceremony to resolve conflicts and release widows from long periods of mourning.
Warlpiri people inherit responsibilities from their parents as either kirda (owners) or kurdungurlu (managers) of particular Dreamings and places. These complementary responsibilities lie at the heart of the Warlpiri world order.
In Jardiwarnpa, individual kirda perform the actions of their ancestors under the supervision of kurdungurlu. Kirda also become the focus of perceived present-day wrongdoings within the community, and so are punished by the kurdungurlu who symbolically 'burn' them in a spectacular climax.
Just as fire is widely used to look after country, it also serves to ritually cleanse and reinvigorate the community.
Animations by PAW Media, 2014
In 1983 Warlpiri people established their own media association in Yuendumu and began to record and broadcast their own stories. The Warlpiri Media Association has since grown to become a regional organisation.
Now called Pintubi Anmatjere Warlpiri Media and Communications (PAW Media), it runs a networked radio station, produces feature films and documentaries, and delivers media training and services to many Aboriginal communities across Central Australia.
Download audio and transcripts from special programs presented in conjunction with the Warlpiri Drawings: Remembering the Future exhibition in Canberra.
Drawing life: Warlpiri lines on a changing world
15 October 2014
This public lecture was presented as a curatorial backstory to the Warlpiri Drawings exhibition.
Anthropologist and curator Melinda Hinkson reflected on the process of introducing an important collection of crayon drawings — six decades after they were made — to the descendants of their makers. She posed the question, in what ways might the activity of drawing be understood as a vital space for cross-cultural interaction?
- Warlpiri drawings connect past and present, Australian National University
- Drawing life: Warlpiri lines on a changing world audio/transcript
Aboriginal Artists of the Nineteenth Century: A celebration
30 September 2014
A symposium celebrating the 20th anniversary of the publication of Aboriginal Artists of the Nineteenth Century by Andrew Sayers.
Many good books are published about Australian art, but few change the way we see and understand it. When Andrew Sayers’ Aboriginal Artists of the Nineteenth Century appeared in September 1994, it did just that.
This symposium explored the impact of Andrew’s book, and deepened and extended our understanding of its field. It included a presentation by Warlpiri Drawings curator Melinda Hinkson.
- Introduction and Welcome to Country
Mathew Trinca, Director, National Museum of Australia and Aunty Susan Barry, Ngunnawal elder
Introduction and Welcome to Country audio/transcript
- Remembering Barak
Aunty Joy Murphy Wandin, senior Wurundjeri elder of the Kulin nation in Victoria
Remembering Barak audio/transcript
- Word pictures: Cultural stories by William Barak
Carol Cooper, Senior Curatorial Fellow, National Museum of Australia
Word pictures audio/transcript
- Panga: A Paakantye draughtsman on the Paroo in the 1870s
Dr David Hansen, Senior Researcher, Sotheby's Australia
- Spearing fish, turtle and swan
Andrew Sayers AM
Spearing fish, turtle and swan audio/transcript
- 'Without the aid of a master': The Dawn of Art drawings and their artists
Dr Philip Jones, Senior Curator, Department of Anthropology, South Australian Museum
Dawn of Art audio/transcript
- Between the lines
Dr Melinda Hinkson, Australian Research Council Future Fellow, School of Archaeology and Anthropology, Australian National University
Between the lines audio/transcript
- Following the line: Establishing south-east artists practice
Jonathan Jones, Wiradjuri/Kamilaroi artist and independent curator
Following the line audio/transcript
Warlpiri Drawings curator talk
21 August 2014
Museum Friends program
Friends were invited to an exclusive behind the scenes tour of the Walpiri Drawings exhibition by curator Melinda Hinkson, followed by refreshments in the Friends Lounge.
Warlpiri Art Market Day at AIATSIS
14 August and 15 August
Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (next to the National Museum on Acton Peninsula)
This was a rare opportunity to buy original Aboriginal artworks and support remote communities from the Northern Territory.