Imelda (Yukenbarri) Gugaman

Artist Imelda (Yukenbarri) Gugaman
Title Winpurpurla
Year 2022

Acrylic on linen

Dimensions 121.9 × 101.6 cm
Art Centre Warlayirti Artists →

Out of stock

Imelda (Yukenbarri) Gugaman

Imelda (Yukenbarri) Gugaman walked into old Balgo Mission with her mother, accomplished painter Lucy Yukenbarri, as a small child and lived in the dormitories at the Mission for a number of years. She attended the government school at Balgo and then lived for a short time in Beagle Bay where she met her husband. They started a family there and moved back to Balgo. She spent a lot of time with her mother, Lucy, who would explain the importance of passing on the stories they were painting to the children of the family. As well as painting in the art centre every day, Imelda is an active member of the community and has served on the Warlayirti Board of Directors for many years. She recently travelled to Melbourne to attend the opening of “Warlayirti: The Art of Balgo” and dance with other Balgo artists at the National Gallery of Victoria.

Artist statement

Imelda (Yukenbarri) Gugaman is the first child of Lucy Yukenbarri and step-daughter to Helicopter Tjungurrayi. In this painting Imelda has depicted her mother’s country south of Balgo, in the Great Sandy Desert called Winpurpurla named after a tjurrnu (soakwater). Winpurpurla is an inta (living water) place so it always has good water. Imelda’s mother passed this story on to her. There were three skin groups travelling from south, Nungarrayi, Nampitjin and Napangarti. They were travelling to Winpurpurla to collect a variety of kumpupatja (bush tomato), which when exposed to sun, change to the off white colour in this painting and are ready to harvest. They also came to harvest bush rasins, represented by the orange dots. The women saw the rocky hill that harboured the tjurnu. The people who were living in Winpurpurla came to them and welcomed them. When the women came near to the tjurnu they stood there singing and then kneeled down near the waters edge. Before the women could drink water they had to drop rocks in the water. Only after they had done this could they enjoy drinking the cool water. They were all happy, singing and sharing food.