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Wati Tjakura by Josephine Mick - 61 x 61 cm

Wati Tjakura by Josephine Mick - 61 x 61 cm

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Wati Tjakura

61 x 61 cm

Acrylic on canvas  

2021

This canvas tells the Wati Tjakura tjurkupa, The Tjakura, an edible skink (Great Desert Skink), is the central figure in the creation story that took place at Arulya.

Wati Tjakura was killed alongside his countryman, Wati Kuntjanu when an army of snake-men from Uluru and Kata Tjuta journeyed south to Aralya and murdered the two men with spears. The Wal Mala (army of male snakes) and the Wati Wanampi (male water snake) from the waterhole site known as Malara, came together in battle and threw spears at Wati trakura. He tried to escape but was killed, and his family came down to grieve and bury him. After that the soldiers travelled over the border to Western Australia.

About the Artist

Josephine Watjari Mick was born in 1955 to revered artist Kuntjiriya Mick, at a site near Pukatja (Ernabella). She grew up mostly in the eastern APY Lands and has strong family ties in this area.

When she was a young girl, Josephine had a vivid dream in which she saw a bright tongue of fire. In the dream, she walked towards the fire and thought she had burnt her hands, but when she woke up, she realised her hands were hot. Shortly after, Josephine started working as a Ngangkari (or traditional healer).

She believes that her dream had given her the power to do so. She has mostly focussed her healing work on women and children. During the homelands movement of the 1970s, Josephine moved to Pipalyatjara, where she still resides today. As well as being a Ngangkari (traditional healer), Josephine is very involved in cultural business. She is also an active member in the Ninuku Arts Centre and has held the role of director several times. Josephine’s painting style is distinctive to say the least. Her works take an unusually long time to create, due to the thick layering of dots she creates in a variety of sizes and colours. Her palette is inspired by the desert flowers and plants from the area.