Seven Sisters Dreaming by Alma Granites


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Artist:Alma Granites
Title:Seven Sisters Dreaming
Medium:Acrylic on belgian linen
Size: 90 X 60cm


Alma Nungarrayi Granites  was born 30th May 1955 and passed away in 2017. She was a Warlpiri woman living at Yuendumu, roughly 300km North-West of Alice Springs on the fringes of the Tanami Desert.

Alma’s father is Paddy Japaljarri Sims and her mother is Bessie Nakamarra Sims.

As a child, Alma and her family lived at 4 Miles. Alma and her sisters travelled daily by foot to attend the local school at Yuendumu, where she learnt to read and write in English and Warlpiri. In the 1970s Alma’s family moved to Yuendumu. It was at school where Alma met Robin Japanangka Granites and they married as soon as they left school. Alma has 3 daughters and many grandchildren.

In the early years of their marriage, Robin became a well-known artist and travelled the world. Alma would stay at home to take care of their children. During this time, Alma worked as a staff member at the local school and attended the Bachelor College, studying to become an accredited teacher assistant for both Warlpiri and English. Once Alma graduated, she worked at the Yuendumu School assisting the Warlpiri classes.

While working at the school, Alma became aware of the great efforts to maintain, share and preserve her Warlpiri culture and traditions. Alma would observe elders visiting the school on a regular basis to teach the younger generation about the Jukurrpa (Dreaming) and associated country.

When Alma stopped working as a teacher’s assistant in 1987, she started painting at the local art centre. However it was not until 2007 that Alma started to paint in earnest. Alma applied herself and experimented with composition and artistic techniques, while still remaining true and respectful to her Warlpiri culture.

Alma’s work is well represented in a number of Australian and overseas galleries that specialize in quality Aboriginal Art, including the Holmes a Court Collection, South Australian Museum and Artbank.

This painting depicts the story of the seven ancestral Napaljarri sisters who are found in the night sky today in the cluster of seven stars in the constellation Taurus, more commonly known as the Palisades. The Palisades are seven women of the Napaljarri skin group and often depicted in paintings of this Jukurrpa carrying the Japijinpa man 'wardiyka' (the bush turkey (ardeotis australias) who is in love with the Napaljarri-warnu and who represents the Orion's Belt cluster of stars. Jukurra-jukurra, the morning star, is a Jakamarra man who is also in love with the Napaljarri sisters and is often shown chasing them across the night sky. In the a final attempt to escape from the Jakamarra the Napaljarri warnu turned themselves into fire and ascended to the heavens to become star.

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