Articles on The "Dreamtime" series

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Detail of Paddy Japaljarri Sims, Warlpiri, 2003, Yanjirlpiri Jukurrpa (Star Dreaming at Yarripirlangu). Image courtesy of the artist's estate, licensed by Warlukurlangu Artists, Yuendumu.

Friday Essay: land, kinship and ownership of ‘Dreamings’

Who owns a Dreamtime story? The Warlpiri, like all Indigenous groups, use a complex system of kinship that regulates which people can depict, sing, dance or talk about which Dreamings.
Nura Rupert, Australia, c.1933. Pitjantjatjara people, South Australia, Mamu (Spooky spirits) 2006, Ernabella, South Australia, synthetic polymer paint on linen 92x122cm. Ed and Sue Tweddell Fund for South Australian Contemporary Art 2006. Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide © Nura Rupert, courtesy of Ernabella Arts

‘Dreamings’ and place – Aboriginal monsters and their meanings

A rich inventory of monstrous figures exists throughout Aboriginal Australia. The specific form that their wickedness takes depends to a considerable extent on their location. In the Australian Central…
Linda Namiyal Bopirri, 1990, Yolngu Matha, Dhuwa moiety, (Liyagalawumirr), Guruwara, Ramingining, Central Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, Birds on Oyster Bank, (‘Oyster Dreaming’, ‘Wayanaka’), Acrylic and Natural Pigments on Canvas, 122x122 cm. © the artist's estate, licensed by Aboriginal Artists Agency Ltd; Burkhardt-Felder Collection, Switzerland

Location, location, location: two contrasting Dreaming narratives

Location, location, location. The real estate agents’ hollow, hackneyed mantra takes on real purchase when applied to the distribution of Dreamings and Dreaming narratives across this continent and its…
Shorty Jangala Robertson, 2011, Warlpiri, ‘Ngapa Jukurrpa’ (Water Dreaming) – Pirlinyanu, 76 x 76 cm. Copyright the artist; Warlukurlangu Artists, Yuendumu.

‘Dreamings’ and dreaming narratives: what’s the relationship?

To imagine what “Australia” was like B.C. (“Before Cook”, or before colonisation), one needs to envision the entire landmass of this island/continent and most of its surrounding islands and waters as crisscrossed…
George Liwukan Bukulaptji, 1990, Yolngu, Galiwin'ku, (Elcho Island), Octopus Dreaming, Garumara, acrylic with natural pigments on canvas, 76x152cm. © the artist's estate, licensed by Aboriginal Artists Agency Ltd; Burkhardt-Felder Collection, Switzerland

‘Dreamtime’ and ‘The Dreaming’: who dreamed up these terms?

** **We’re all, it seems, familiar with the terms “Dreamtime” and “The Dreaming” in relation to Aboriginal Australian culture, but – as I noted in the first part of this series – such terms are grossly…
Rosie Tasman Napurrurla, Warlpiri 2002, Ngurlu Jukurrpa (‘Grass Seed; Bush Grain Dreaming’), line etching on Hahnemuhle paper. Warnayaka Art Centre, Lajamanu, and Aboriginal Art Prints Network, Sydney

‘Dreamtime’ and ‘The Dreaming’ – an introduction

In 2002, Jeannie Herbert Nungarrayi, formerly a Warlpiri teacher at the Lajamanu School in the Tanami Desert of the Northern Territory, where I worked for many years first as a linguist and then as school…