Flip open the 2020 frankie diary and you’ll be treated to the striking works of seven Indigenous artists from remote communities across Australia. We introduced you to a few artists and their work not too long ago (if you haven't already met them, head right here.) Below, you’ll learn more about the very talented Lisa Bundamurra, Mitjili Napurrula and Stewart Hoosan, who each shared a little bit about their life and featured designs.
LISA BUNDAMURRA – WANDJINA BRINGS THE RAIN
Lisa lives in Kalumburu, in the North-East Kimberley (Kwini country). It takes one or two days to drive to the nearest town, Kununurra. Lisa’s mum is a Wunambal woman, and her dad is Worrorra tribe, from Mowanjum and Derby. “I do painting about my culture,” she says. “It keeps me busy, eases my mind and relaxes me."
"The Wandjina is a spirit in the North-East Kimberley region. It’s everywhere on the rock art. Our old people tell us the Wandjina is the rainmaker, but he’s more than the weather. He also watches over us when we’re stranded in the bush or break down, and when we go hunting and fishing we ask him to give us food. Our ancestors believe the Wandjina created the land – the rivers and hills, everything."
MITJILI NAPURRULA – UWULKARI, WATIYA TJUTA
Mitjili was born in 1945 at Papunya, 200 kilometres west of Alice Springs. She started painting with her late husband Long Tom Tjapanangka in 1992, with the opening of the Ikuntji Women’s Centre, and gained international attention. Mitjili’s father, Tupa Tjakamarra, passed down the right to paint works relating to Ilyingaungau country in the Gibson Desert.
Mitjili Napurrula paints her father’s Tjukurrpa (Dreaming) – the ceremonial spear-straightening in Uwalkari Country, carried out in preparation for a conflict with the Tjukula men. The watiya tjuta (acacia trees) shown in Mitjili’s motif were used to make the spears. Uwalkari Country is abundant with acacias, as well as sand hills and other plants.
STEWART HOOSAN – NGAKURLURNJU (WILD BUSH TOMATOES)
Stewart was born in 1951 at Doomadgee Mission near the Gulf of Carpentaria, Queensland. He’s a Garrwa man on his mother’s side; his paternal grandfather was an Egyptian cameleer from Central Australia. Stewart mostly paints landscapes and historical stories about droving and Aboriginal resistance fighters. He is Junggayi (custodian) for the country of the Garrwa people.
“This design is about the wild tomato, or ngakurlurnju. It’s a good bush medicine. Nobody knows about this fruit because it grows in secret places – the Gulf of Carpentaria, Calvert Hill, Mountain Country. We’re thinking about growing it, though, and maybe one day it’ll be in a shop! It’s really sacred, this design – this is the first time I’ve shown anyone in public.”
Grab a copy of the 2020 frankie diary over here.