Nyarapayi Giles Warmurrungu

This long awaited US debut solo exhibit for Western Australian artist Nyarapayi Giles, highlights a beautiful selection of paintings depicting the sacred site called ‘Warmarungu’ near Karku, the artists' birthplace. This is where the ochres are collected for ceremonial use. In the dreaming times many emus went down into the the rockholes and some took the form of trees. The ochre is excavated in a special way using a stick, and Nyarapayi paints the emu spirits which are released during this ceremony to again take physical form. Her paintings show the travels of the emus in the dreaming times and the rockholes they stopped at. Nyarapayi's paintings have a vigor that is unparalleled in Western Desert painting. Her canvasses explode with color as her brushwork reconnects to her ancestral story.

Giles is one of the respected elders of the Tjukurla Community. Born in the Gibson desert of Western Australia, as a young woman, Nyarapayi travelled throughout the Westem Desert region with her mother and step-father, hunting, gathering bushtucker and camping in the traditional way of the Ngaanyatjarra people. Nyarapayi’s knowledge of the Inma (ceremonies) and Tjukurpa (dreaming stories) associated with the country of this region is extensive. Nyarapayi settled in Tjukurla when the community was first established in the ‘1980s. She works with ‘purnu’ (wood carving) and still enjoys hunting in the bush. She learned to make baskets woven from spinifex in the 1980s and has a large basket on permanent exhibition at the Queensland Art Gallery.

Nyarapayi Giles’ works explores her country and associated tjukurrpa in an exquisite and unique expression of colour and movement. Nyarapayi has gained recognition as a key artist in the contemporary indigenous arts world. Her works are collected by collectors and institutions around Australia and internationally.

On view until April 30th

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