Wardapi Jukurrpa, 2018


  • 43cm x 60.2cm
  • 2018
  • Acrylic On Linen
  • Catalog No: 1161-9349-18

‘This painting is about the way women hunt Wardapi – that sand goanna. He digs holes in the dunes, makes his nest deep inside. Women hunt Wardapi in the dunes by digging out the holes. Sometimes cover one, and Wardapi runs out other one. Need to hunt him together. Find all the holes. Dig them at the same time. Someone going to get him that way.’
The Wardapi Jukurrpa [Varanus Gouldii Goanna] belongs to the Spencer Sisters. It comes from Yarripilangku [aka Yinyiripalangu], south-west of Yuendumu. A group of Warlpiri Karnta (women) are sitting down in a circle when a Japangardi man from Puturlu [Mt Theo], called Wamaru came upon them. He wants to take one of them, named Yurlkurinyi, of Nungarrayi skin, which is the wrong skin for him. He takes the Nungarrayi woman, up a hill, where they made love. In response, the earth on top of the hill turns to Ngunjungunju (white ochre), yellow and red ochre is for Karnta and Wati. The ochre is used by Warlpiri people for love magic and ceremonial decoration. The Wati turns all the Karnta and himself into Wardapi, aka Varanus Gouldii goannas. This Jukurrpa belongs to the Napaljarri/Japaljarri and Nungarrayi /Jungarrayi subsections, and the Japanangka/Napanangka, Japangardi/Napangardi subsections of Puturlu. The women are often represented by ‘U’ shapes. Concentric circles may illustrate Wardapi holes, or their droppings left behind them, and Wardapi tracks are usually represented by ‘W’ shapes.