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This work portrays an area known intimately to the artist, painted here in exquisite detail from memory. During the pujiman (traditional, desert dwelling) era one’s survival depended on their intimate knowledge of the location of resources; thus physical elements of Country, such as sources of kapi (water), tali (sandhills), and different varieties of warta (trees, vegetation) were carefully observed and remembered. Today, this relationship with Country remains equally strong, despite the movement of Martu out of the desert and into remote Aboriginal Communities, towns and cities.

Also visible may be traces of life cycles based around kalyu (rain, water) and waru (fire). A thousands of year old practice, fire burning continues to be carried out as both an aid for hunting and a means of land management today. As the Martu travelled and hunted they would burn tracts of land, ensuring plant and animal biodiversity and reducing the risk of unmanageable, spontaneous bush fires. The patchwork nature of regrowth is visible in many landscape works, with each of the five distinctive phases of fire burning visually described with respect to the cycle of burning and regrowth.  

Finally, metaphysical information relating to a location may also be recorded; Jukurrpa (Dreaming) narratives chronicle the creation of physical landmarks, and can be referenced through depictions of ceremonial sites, songlines, and markers left in the land. 

Name: Noreena Kadibil

Language: Putijarra

Community: Parnngurr


"My country is Kajarra between wells 6 and 9 on the Canning Stock Route. This is my dad’s country and my grandfather’s and grandmother’s country. I only paint my grandfather’s and grandmother’s country, that’s our traditional lands. Jigalong belongs to the mob. I have other country but there’s other people mixed up in it. Mum was born in Savoury Creek. My grandmother used to live in Jigalong before Old Jigalong got started. I paint pictures of my country to keep it safe and to show my kids how to look after it." "I grew up in Wiluna and on Lake Violet Station. We moved to Jigalong in 1969 after my father passed away. I moved to Parnngurr with five children in 1984 (Murphy was the youngest), there was too much humbug in town, it’s a quieter place out here." Noreena was taught by her parents and grandparents about her traditional lands and how to survive in the bush. She has passed on this knowledge to her kids and grandkids as well as teaching them how to paint. Her mother Daisy had been taken from her family as a child and placed in the Moore River settlement. The film Rabbit Proof Fence tells Daisy's story.

© the artist / art centre