Saturday, May 08, 2010

Eunice Napangardi heads for Germany

This is a report from Aboriginals: Art of the First Person , proprietors of, which deals in tribal art, including Australian Aboriginal paintings.

Well, not the actual Eunice Napangardi. She unfortunately passed away about five years ago.

This Eunice Napangardi is a lovely Australian Aboriginal desert dot painting created by Eunice in about 1995. We have had it in our collection since 2000.

It was a portrayal of the Bush Banana dreaming, which Eunice's clan is entitled to paint.
Her paintings depict variations of the radiating vines of the bush banana plant, which grows in rock crevices close to the dry river beds. Known as Yuparli in the Aboriginal language of Eunice's Warlpiri home near Yuendumu, it is gathered by the Aboriginal women both as fruit and as medicine. Bush Banana is very important in Aboriginal culture because of its combined healing and nutritional qualities.

Bush Banana Dreaming (signifies the journey of Yuparli ancestors). In this respect, it is like many Aboriginal dreamings, which portray various aspects of Aboriginal history and mythology. Such paintings were originally done by men artists, on the ground at corroborees (or clan gatherings). As a result, they also were often referred to as sand paintings. Among their purposes was to share the culture with younger members of the clans as they grew and acquired knowledge.

Eunice was one of the first women painters, emerging shortly after an English art advisor in the desert convinced tribe members that it was okay to paint their stories. Even then, the deep meanings of the symbols, shapes and icons are not shared outside the clan, and often not outside the senior men.

Now, Bush Banana Dreaming by Eunice Napangardi has found a new home with a wise investor in Aboriginal art.

Eunice's paintings are totally unique. She demonstrates a great artistic flair and surety of touch in her ability to represent one dreaming.

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