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Khatija Possum

My Grandmother's Country

My Grandmother's Country

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Title: My Grandmother's Country
Artist: Khatija Possum
Size: 200 x 120 cm
Medium: Acrylic on canvas

Authenticity:
COA and pictures of the artist holding and signing her work will be provided.

Story:

In this painting the artist depicts motifs that give symbolic form to tribal women engaged in cultural activities in a desert environment known as Yuelamu, which the women inherited from their Ancestral Grandmother, who travelled to this Anmatyerre site in the Tanami Desert during the Dreamtime, at Creation

Women are the principle gatherers of Bush Tucker and it is an important part of everyday life within the family clan. This particular painting, Grandmother’s Country, depicts women collecting food and also celebrates the fertility of the land. Aboriginal paintings are based on the myths of the Dreamtime. In modern dot representations, the sacred aspect of the painting is not always revealed, but the meaning remains, transmitted through symbols that are easily understood.

Each person has a particular Dreaming to which they belong and they have special ceremonial dances and songs that combine together to form a unique belief that makes up the lives of the Aboriginal people. All things relate to the land and thus the land is of great importance to them. The land is the keeper of the Dreaming and must be kept safe for all time so that the Dreaming stories, which are told in the paintings, can be preserved. Khatija is Gabriella Possum Nungarrayi one of Australia’s premier female Aboriginal artists from the Central Desert who is currently working in Melbourne. At an early age, Gabriella began painting alongside her father the renowned, Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri Khatija grandfather, whose works are represented in major galleries and private collections worldwide. He passed on his skills to his daughter, whose paintings reflect his unique style.

Represented as symbolic U-shapes, the women are shown in different areas collecting wild growing bush food, which is given form through star-like shapes that represent berry bushes, while clusters of encased small dots and large dots serve to represent various types of berries and bush plums that the women collect. The red fire-like motif represents the women’s campfire and ceremonial site where the women gather for ceremony and engage in ritual song and dance and create body art and sand paintings, which the concentric circles in this work depict and double to act as specific sites where bush food is in plenty. Rain nourishes the desert and is captured through the white dotted motifs , which also serves to double as pipe-clay used as paint in the ritual life of Yuelamu`s women, who follow their Ancestral Grandmother’s example in her home country, which is the subject of this work.

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