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MABEL JULI

Wardel Doo Garnkiny : Star & Moon


'We learn through by that two old people now; old Gurrir Gurrir boss and aunty. That's why we do all them paintings now. But we don't do painting for them. We do our painting, our country. That's for that old people ... I don't get anybody to tell me to do painting, I do my own painting. I know what I can do. I know what I can paint in my country. I picture my country, you know. I know all the place here.' -Mabel Juli, 2016


Mabel Juli

Wardel Doo Garnkiny: Star and Moon ‘Garnkiny ngelmang rurt ngarri nginji. Wardel tal kerlurr ngarrkalen laarne pertij nginyi tanyi garnkiny. Wiji ke ngarri ngurramangpe ngewa tampurru-kal. Gangpelkpe nginini. Kerlewirring tek nginini Nginini pirri nangkap parrrun na nginini pirri ngayimuwana murlinte ngenpenke. Purapurap ngeliyante wanemay pirri melakawum tam. Wurrji ngarri perrani yilak. Taam merrkernpem purakarr ngeliyante Nangkapwa perrayin kili namuwana ngininji. Merrkern taam nginji purap ngitji. Taam merrkernpem.’ ‘Well this the dream by Wardel and Garnkiny (star and moon). That’s what my mother and dad told me about that Dream. The moon sits in the east. The star sits on top of the hills, the moon came and climbed that hill. That moon loved his mother in-law, but they told him he couldn’t love her and to go away. He left with shame and climbed up the hill and he was looking from on top [of the hill]. He told all the people that they were going to die. He said that he would be the only one living. He cursed those people that he would be the only one coming back alive. He told them, while they were sitting down, ‘you are all going to die and I will be still alive, coming out. Every three days I will rise from the dead.’ They all died and he was the only one that stayed alive. He came back as the moon, for three days every month.’ 1 Mabel Juli’s work is concerned with some of the most serious principles of Gija Law and Culture transformed into paintings primarily depicting the Ngarranggarni (Dreaming) stories of her Country Darrajayin (Springvale station). Juli is renowned for her iconic depictions of Wardel and Garnkiny (star and moon) a symbolic Ngarranggarni (Dreaming) story in which she is an important custodian. The surviving marks of Wardel and Garnkiny depicted by Juli are powerfully overhanging formations of applied ochre on canvas. In many of Juli’s works, a mass of black charcoal or brown washes of ochre occupy almost the whole space of the canvas, leaving only narrow white ochre inscriptions of a star and moon. It is the interrelationships of these inscriptions, together with sparse textured strokes of ochre and a limited use colour that defines Juli’s compositions as both panoramas of earth and sky relating to her Country at Darrajayin. Ochre pigments extracted from Darrajayin emerge from the ground in a process whereby Juli sings to her descendants - letting them know she is there to collect ochre for painting.2


Among the brown and red colors that emerge from Darrajayin there is cherished white ochre, this hue never abandons its significance throughout Juli’s work, it declares light. For Juli’s knowledge of Gija Law and land are inseparable, each brush stroke manifests the evidence of detailed stories passed onto Juli by her family and are authoritative illustrations of how Dreaming stories operate to represent the relationships with life, land and the cosmos. The series of works in Wardel doo Garnkiny: Star and Moon celebrates one of the most dedicated and iconic of all Warmun artists. Her senority and status as one of Australia’s most respected painters has emerged from a consistent body of work that visions landscapes, individual brush stroke gestures and developed symbols of Gija Law and Culture, with the recollection of Ngarranggarni (Dreaming). Mabel Juli was born at Five Mile, near Moola Boola Station (south of Warmun). As a baby she was taken to Darrajayin (Springvale Station), her mother’s Country. Mabel’s ‘bush name’ is Wiringgoon. She is a strong Law and Culture woman and an important ceremonial singer and dancer. Juli started painting in the 1980s, at the same time as wellknown Warmun artists Queenie McKenzie and Madigan Thomas. Nicole Foreshew 2016

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Artist statement explaining Garnkiny (star and moon) recorded and translated by Frances Koford. In conversation with the artist at Darrajayin (Springvale station), 2016.


Wardel Doo Ganikiny (Star and Moon) natural ocher and pigments on canvas 44� x 72� Catalog #231/15


Garnkiny Ngarranggarni (Moon Dreaming) natural ocher and pigments on canvas 32� x 32� Catalog #184/16


Jidinjngurlie (Bird) natural ocher and pigments on canvas 24� x 24� Catalog #84/16


Garnkiny Ngarranggarni (Moon Dreaming) natural ocher and pigments on canvas 35� x 47� Catalog #148/16


Garnkiny Ngarrangkarni (Moon Dreaming) natural ocher and pigments on canvas 24� x 24� Catalog #60/16


Garnkiny Ngarranggarni (Moon Dreaming) natural ocher and pigments on canvas 32� x 24� Catalog #127/16


Wardel Doo Garnkiny (Star and Moon) natural ocher and pigments on canvas 47� x 47� Catalog #398/16


Garnkiny Ngarranggarni (Moon Dreaming) natural ocher and pigments on canvas 32� x 47� Catalog #55/16


Garnkiny Ngarrangkarni (Moon Dreaming) natural ocher and pigments on canvas 59� x 71� Catalog #365/16


On view 20 December 2016 - 31 January 2017 391 First Ave N Ketchum ID 83353 USA info@harveyartprojects.com | Phone (208) 309-8676 Back cover: Mabel Juli. Images courtesy Warmun Art Centre Copyright 2016 Harvey Art Projects USA & Warmun Art Centre

HARVEYARTPROJECTS.COM

Mabel Juli Solo 2016/17  

The series of works in Garnkiny Doo Wardel: Moon and Star celebrates one of the most dedicated and iconic of all Warmun artists. Mabel Juli'...

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