13 June - 15 August 2015
in association with Tjarlirli Art

Nyarapayi Giles, Warmurrungu, 2014, acrylic on canvas, 118.5 x 107.5 cm. Tjarlirli Art.

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Nyarapayi Giles and Esther Giles are two of Tjarlirli Art's most senior women. Over the years they developed a strong following of collectors and fans.

Nyarapayi's paintings tell the story of Warmurrungu, the Emu Ancestor spirits. When the emus emerge from digging in the ochre pits and ruffle their feathers, the ochre dust is caught by the wind and reforms into ancestral Emu spirits. The spirits then stride off into the distance, leaving tracks for the people to follow. Ochre is a sacred material and is therefore highly symbolic.

Esther's paintings depict Purrungu, the Python story. A woman went into an underground cave to collect water from a rockhole inside. As she was coming out, a snake came upon her. Scaring it away, she walked backwards lest the snake come upon her again. She made it back to camp where all the women were sitting around. In Aboriginal Law, snakes are male and are symbolic of terrific power. Often spirit snakes turn malevolent if provoked.

If you would like further information about the artists and paintings, we'd love to hear from you.