Ngalyipi (Snake Vine Dreaming), 2001
This painting by Judy depicts her country Mina Mina, a sacred ceremonial place west of Yuendumu in the Tanami Desert (country that is dominated by salt lakes, claypan soakages and sandhills). This place is significant to Napangardi and Napanangka women who are the custodians of this country. The Dreaming describes the journey of a group of women who travelled east gathering bush food and collecting Ngalyipi (snake vine), performing ceremonies as they travelled.
During the Jukurrpa Ancestral women of the Napangardi and Napanangka sub-section groups (aunt / niece relationship, in which knowledge is passed from one to the other) gathered to collect ceremonial digging sticks (Karlangu) that had emerged from the ground. They then proceeded east, performing rituals of song and dance, beyond the boundaries of Warlpiri country..
In this painting Judy depicts Ngalyipi (snake vine, Tinospora smilacina) which grows along the trunks and boughs of the ‘kurrkara’ (Desert Oak, Allocasuarina decaisneana) trees. Ngalyipi is a vine that is sacred to Napangardi and Napanangka women. Ngalyipi is used in ceremony, as a ceremonial wrap, and as a strap to carry ‘parrajas’ (wooden bowls) laden with bush tucker and as a tourniquet for headaches.
Region: Yuendumu, NT
Born at Yarungkanji, Mt. Doreen Station (west of Yuendumu), Judy Napangardi Watson is a senior Warlpiri female painter. A woman of incredible energy that is transmitted to her work through her dynamic use of colour, and energetic “dragged dotting” style. She is at the forefront of a move towards more abstract rendering of Jukurrpa by Warlpiri artists, however her work retains strong kurruwarri, the details which tell of the sacredness of place and song in her culture.