Budgerigar Dreaming by Lorraine Nungarrayi

Artist:Lorraine Nungarrayi
Title:Budgerigar Dreaming
Medium:Acrylic on linen
Size: 76 X 61cm

Lorraine paints for the Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation located at the Yuendumu community 300km north-west of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory of Australia. Established in 1985, Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation is a fully Aboriginal owned and governed art centre with over 600 members. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the sale of all art works go directly back to the artists and their community projects.

The art centre is famous for its gloriously colourful acrylic paintings with many of its members work collectable having been featured in hundreds of exhibitions both in Australia and around the world .The art centre is both a stronghold of traditional Warlpiri culture and an essential part of Yuendumu's community life.

Ngatijirri (budgerigar) are smal, bright green  birds native to central Australia and common around the Yuendumu area, especially after the summer rains. Men would hunt for Ngatijirri nests, robbing them of eggs and juvenile birds, which are both considered as delicacies. The men would also go out hunting for adult flying Ngatijirri, which they would kill by swinging branches, killing sticks or Karli (boomerangs) to hit the birds in flight. Each time the flock of ancestral Ngatijirri land they performed ceremonies, singing and dancing as the budgerigar fly and roost in the trees.The sites of these ceremonies are depicted in this painting as concentric circles with any 'U 'shapes representing people.

In Warlpiri paintings traditional iconography is used to represent the Dreaming, particular sites and other elements.Cross- like shapes depict the footprints of the birds on the ground and give an indication of the large flocks of Ngatijirri that can be found near Yuendumu. After good rains Ngatijirri succesfully breed several  times, resulting in an explosion of the population In a short time.

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