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Gabriella Possum Nungurrayi

My Grandmother's Country - 2019

synthetic polymer paint on Belgian linen
141 x 205 cm
Price Realised: $4,636.00

MP #677


Aranda Art, Vic Cat No. 18229
Private Collection, Vic

The artist is portraying the country of her grandmother, Long Rose Nungala - the wife of one Pound Jimmy and the mother of Clifford Possum. It is in the Mount Allan region (Yuelumu), 300km north-west of Alice Springs, the ancestral homeland of the Anmatyerre people.

Gabriella has outlined the general geography, showing the sand hills, fresh water soakages, dried salty swamps, and rockholes that supply drinking water in times of drought. The vegetation includes Spinifex grass, wild bush wheat, honey flowers for sugar bag (native bee honey), as well as the bush tucker which grows underground, such as sweet yams.

The Dreamtime lore relates the regeneration of plant life after rain, the life cycle of the yam plant, and the areas where they can be found. All of this information is traditionally transmitted through song, dance, and ceremony. This painting summarises the process. The secret aspects are inferred by the groups of U shapes that are clustered together. They indicate that all of the grandmothers (Nungala's) are painting themselves with yellow, red, and white ochre (sometimes mixed together to produce pink) and teaching their granddaughters (Nungarrayi's) the procedures that they must follow to maintain and nurture the diverse bush foods in this county. Their camp fires are also indicated. All of this information is considered necessary for the survival of the Anmatyerre people who have traditionally inhabited this region.