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Queenie McKenzie Nakarra

Dreaming Places – Gidja Country - 1996

Natural Earth Pigments on Linen
200.0 x 160.0 cm
EST. $60,000 - $90,000



Waringarri Arts, Kununurra Cat No. AP0791
William Mora Galleries, Melbourne Cat No. S5740
Private Collection Vic



Queenie McKenzie, William Mora Galleries, 1997


Jennifer Joi Field, Written in the Land: The Life of Queenie McKenzie, Melbourne Books, 2008,  Illust. pp180-181

This painting shows important Dreaming Places in Queenie’s country. The hill at the top is Wirdim (Red Butt), on Texas Downs Station. There is a big yellow sand dune on the side of the hill here. At the base of the hill is a fishing hole (shown in black). People sit and fish on the rock nearby (shown as circles). The row of hills below, are hills on the other side of the river. Wirdim is linked to Doolngayim (Argument Gap) in the Northern Territory. Doolngayim is shown at the bottom of the painting as the hill with vertical cracks in striking colours. The wavy line below is the Victoria Highway, which runs through the gap today.

Wirdim and Doolngayim are connected by the story of Ganggamerl, an old spirit woman who set off from Wirdim in the Dreamtime and kidnapped a boy. He called out to his brothers at Newry Station, but Ganggamerl took him back to Wirdim. He soon escaped back to his own country.

At the left centre is Nanny Goat Hill, near Texas Downs homestead. Below Nanny Goat Hill, on the left, is Yarlga, an Echidna Dreaming place. The artist was born in Yarlga country and Echidna was one of her Dreamings. The area is a source of a white stone also called Yarlga, which was traditionally used to make spearheads. The stone is sharp like the quills of the Dreamtime Echidna. To the right of Yarlga are hills in Darrawoonging country, where two boys who stole ‘ant bed’ drowned in a waterhole.