‘Warlu Jukurrpa (Fire Dreaming)’ by Paddy Japaljarri Sims

Paddy Japaljiarri Sims’ painting, ‘Warlu Jukurrpa (Fire Dreaming)’, shows the traditional practices associated with burning off areas of spinifex country.

Painting by Paddy Japaljarri Sims, 'Warlu Jukurrpa (Fire Dreaming)', 760 x 460 mm, Acrylic on linen, © The Artist & Warlukurlangu Artists

See this painting in Berlin at ‘SUN FLYING’, A Bright Australian Desert Art Exhibition

The fires are lit so that ‘liwirringki’ (burrowing skinks), other lizards and small mammals are flushed out of their burrows and hiding places. This allows them to be more easily caught for food. It also enables the re-growth of a diversity of plants, which in turn attracts a broader range of animal food species.

The ‘kirda’ (custodians) of this Dreaming are Japaljarri / Jungarrayi men and Napaljarri / Nungarrayi women. The ‘kurdungurlu’ (ceremonial police) are the Jampijinpa / Nampijinpa and the Jupurrurla / Napurrurla skin groups.

This Dreaming is specifically associated with hunting ‘liwirringki’ and is celebrated with a ‘corroborate’ (sacred ceremony). This corroborate is painted on the ground that has been burnt and cleared by the fire that was started there.

In contemporary Warlpiri paintings traditional iconography is used to represent the Jukurrpa, particular sites and other elements. It is usual that in paintings of this Jukurrpa circular motifs represent water soakages and rock holes while curvy lines are often used to depict Warlu (fire) and flames spreading out in the area.

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Text & Artworks © The Artist & Warlukurlangu Artists

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