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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: Jenaley Atkins

Language: Martu Wangka

Community: Jigalong


Hello my name is Jenaley, my last name is Atkins. I come from Newman.  I was born at Port Hedland hospital on the third of November, 1999. I have one brother and one sister, and their names are Jacquelynn Jackson and Liam Jackson. My mother's name is Lynnley, and my father's name is Jonathon. My aunty grew me and my sister and brother up. Her name is Georgina Jackson. I love her so much.

At the moment I live with my Nan and Pop, Phyliss Rogers and Billy Atkins.  I go hunting with Nanna.  I like the taste of goanna, it's my favorite.  I watch my grandfather paint all the time and listen to his stories about his country and how he used to go hunting and walk around Country in the early days. I want to be a good painter like my grandfather when I get to my forties.

© the artist / art centre