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  • Aboriginal Art | Karen Napaljarri Barnes, Jurlpu kuja kalu nyinami Yurntumu-wana, 107x61cm
  • Aboriginal Art | Karen Napaljarri Barnes, Jurlpu kuja kalu nyinami Yurntumu-wana, 107x61cm
  • Aboriginal Art | Karen Napaljarri Barnes, Jurlpu kuja kalu nyinami Yurntumu-wana, 107x61cm
  • Aboriginal Art | Karen Napaljarri Barnes, Jurlpu kuja kalu nyinami Yurntumu-wana, 107x61cm
Aboriginal Art | Karen Napaljarri Barnes, Jurlpu kuja kalu nyinami Yurntumu-wana, 107x61cm
Aboriginal Art | Karen Napaljarri Barnes, Jurlpu kuja kalu nyinami Yurntumu-wana, 107x61cm
Aboriginal Art | Karen Napaljarri Barnes, Jurlpu kuja kalu nyinami Yurntumu-wana, 107x61cm
Aboriginal Art | Karen Napaljarri Barnes, Jurlpu kuja kalu nyinami Yurntumu-wana, 107x61cm

Karen Napaljarri Barnes, Jurlpu kuja kalu nyinami Yurntumu-wana, 107x61cm

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  • Artist - Karen Napaljarri Barnes
  • Community - Yuendumu
  • Art Centre/Community organisation - Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation
  • Catalogue number - 5649/16
  • Materials - Acrylic on linen 
  • Size(cm) - H61 W107 D2
  • Postage variants - Artwork is posted un-stretched and rolled for safe shipping

This painting depicts one of many ‘jurlpu’ (bird) species that live around Yuendumu. The bush around Yuendumu provides many different habitats for birds to live in. Many bird species live around waterholes and rivers, like the ‘pirniny-pirninypa’ (black fronted dotterel [Elseyornis melanops]). Others live in the spinifex country, like the ‘nuwiyingki’ or ‘panngarra’ (cockatiel [Nymphicus hollandicus]). Still others make nests in trees, like the ‘juwayikirdi’ (grey crowned babbler [Pomatostomus temporalis]).

People hunt some of these species for meat. The most popular species to hunt today are the ‘yankirri’ (emu [Dromaius novaehollandiae]) and ‘wardilyka’ (bush turkey [Ardeotis australis]). People also used to hunt ‘yupurru’ (spinifex pigeon [Geophaps plumifera]) and ‘ngapilkiri’ (crested pigeon [Ocyphaps lophotes]), among others.

A number of bird species tell people messages. Several species tell people when rain is coming, including the ‘jintirr-jintirrpa’ (willy wagtail [Rhipidura leucophrys]) and ‘kalwa’ (crane). The cries of other birds, like the ‘kirrkalanji’ (brown falcon [Falco berigora]) and ‘ngamirliri’ (bush stone curlew [Burhinus grallarius]), can make children sick. The ‘paku-paku’ (crested bellbird [Oreoica gutturalis]) and ‘kurlukuku’ (diamond dove [Geopelia cuneata]) are messengers of love songs.

People also use messages from birds to help them hunt. The ‘juwayikirdi’ (grey crowned babbler [Pomatostomus temporalis]) and ‘piirn-piirnpa’ (yellow throated miner [Manorina flavigula]) cry when goannas are nearby. People know to run quickly when these birds cry, so that they can catch the goannas.

In Warlpiri culture, ‘jurlpu’ (birds) are associated with a number of different ‘Jukurrpa’ (Dreaming) stories. Some are even associated with major ceremonies, including the Jardiwarnpa fire ceremony.

Karen Napaljarri Barnes was born in Lajamanu, a remote Aboriginal community in semi-arid country on the edge of the Tanami Desert 1000km north-west of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory. She moved to Yuendumu, 700km south, after finishing school in Lajamanu, to be with her family. She has been painting with Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation, an Aboriginal owned and governed Art Centre, since 2001. She is the grand-daughter of Warlukurlangus's famous artist Judy Napangardi Watson and they would sit together painting at the Art Centre every day when Karen first started painting. Karen paints the dreaming stories handed down to her by her family for generations of millenia, stories which come from Mina Mina, country west of Yuendumu of which her family are the custodians. She also paints Karnta Jukurrpa (Women’s Dreaming), Wakulyarri Jukurrpa (Wallaby Dreaming), Ngarlajiyi Jukurrpa (Bush Carrot Creaming). Karen loves sport, especially basketball and softball, and is an avid football spectator, barracking for Lajamanu.