This traditional Kashmiri handicraft vitally supplements an often fluctuating rural income. Wool is custom dyed to match the original artist's image and hand stitched onto a cotton base. Each cushion is backed with natural coloured cotton canvas, and closes with a zip.
'Ngapa Jukurrpa (Water Dreaming) - Puyurru ' by Shorty Robertson. The site depicted in this painting is Puyurru, west of Yuendumu. In the usually dry creek beds are water soakages or naturally occurring wells. Two Jangala men, rainmakers, sang the rain, unleashing a giant storm. It travelled across the country, with the lightning striking the land. This storm met up with another storm from Wapurtali, to the west, was picked up by a ‘kirrkarlan’ (brown falcon [Falco berigora]) and carried further west until it dropped the storm at Purlungyanu, where it created a giant soakage. At Puyurru the bird dug up a giant snake, ‘warnayarra’ (the ‘rainbow serpent’) and the snake carried water to create the large lake, Jillyiumpa, close to an outstation in this country. This story belongs to Jangala men and Nangala women. In contemporary Warlpiri paintings traditional iconography is used to represent the Jukurrpa, associated sites and other elements. In many paintings of this Jukurrpa curved and straight lines represent the ‘ngawarra’ (flood waters) running through the landscape. Motifs frequently used to depict this story include small circles representing ‘mulju’ (water soakages) and short bars depicting ‘mangkurdu’ (cumulus & stratocumulus clouds).
These cushions are a joint venture between Better World Arts and Kaltjiti Arts, one of the art centres in the isolated Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands (APY Lands) in the remote north west corner of South Australia.
Focusing on fine art instead of predictable commercialised Aboriginal images, this cross-cultural collaboration uses the powerful images from the artists of the APY Lands and the traditional cultural craft heritage of the Kashmir region.