Artist: Gwenda Turner Nungurrayi is a Warlpiri woman from Yuelumu (Mt Allen) to the North of Alice Springs, Her mother is the renowned artist, Maureen Nampitjinpa Hudson. Gwenda paints stories associated with her home land and is known for her Sandhill artworks, made up with wavy lines of precise dots which create a flowing depiction of these important sand dunes.In her paintings, Gwenda often depicts the rivers and sand hills of her traditional country; Warlukurlangu (Bushfire Country). She had, as a young child, travelled with her family through this country gathering native bush tucker and bush medicine around the sand hill country (known as jilja-marra-marra). The sand hills of this area are significant as they support a wide variety of flora and fauna. After any amount of decent rainfall, there is an abundance of new growth (grasses and small shrubs) which encourage the local wildlife to return to these areas in search of food. This in turn enables the people of this land to easily hunt for these animals.
Knowledge of these vast areas of sandy country is an integral part of day to day living in this rugged environment. Being rather high, it is often impossible to see what kind of country lies beyond each hill. The elders of these areas have travelled through this country often enough that they very aware of which places can offer sources of food, water, medicine and shelter – and this knowledge is passed down from generation to generation. This piece is Gwenda’s depiction of the flocks of budgerigar, the foods they survive on and their home in the trees. The small arrow shapes represent the Budgerigar.