Gabriella POSSUM NUNGURRAYI:  Seven Sister (Milky Way) Dreaming

Gabriella POSSUM NUNGURRAYI: Seven Sister (Milky Way) Dreaming

2000, 171 x 91cm ADG:1998

SOLD some_text

ADG: 1998


Seven Sister (Milky Way) Dreaming - Story of painting

This is the ancient myth of the Milky Way and the Seven Sisters (Pleiades). This Dreaming was inherited by Gabriella from her mother and grandmother, and given to Gabriella by her father. This story takes place at the “twenty mile” located near Napperby Creek in the Northern Territory. The Seven Sisters travelled over a vast expanse of country until they realised that they were being followed by a man called Wati-Nyiru (who was a Tjakamarra man). He was an evil person who wanted to seduce the sisters, and so the sisters were frightened of him. They tried to hide from him in caves, but he began to disguise himself as many things, including a snake, to deceive them. With little hope of escaping from him, the Seven Sisters escaped through a fire at Kurlunyalimpa to the Milky Way, where they became the stars of the Pleiades in the Constellation Taurus. There they are safe and watch over all the women on earth. Wati-Nyiru then followed them to the heavens, and became the star Orion, destined to follow them as they move across the night sky. The seven concentric circles represent the Seven Sisters, while the lone star depicts Orion (the Tjakamarra man).

Gabriella POSSUM NUNGURRAYI - Biography

Born 1967

Language Anmatyerre

Country Mt. Allan, N.T.

Region Yuelamu community, 280km northwest of Alice Springs

Dreamings Women’s Ceremonies; Bush Tucker (Black Seed and Exploding Seed from the Mt. Allan area); Goanna; Serpent; Seven Sisters Dreaming (Milky Way Dreaming); Grandmother’s Gold Country Dreaming.

Born in Mt Allan, Gabriella Possum is the elder daughter of the renowned painter, Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri (c.1933-2002), who taught her to paint. Gabriella attended Yirara College in Alice Springs. Gabriella designed several record covers and also some T-shirts for CAAMA. Gabriella has a high profile in many Australian commercial galleries and is represented in a number of commercial galleries overseas. Gabriella lives with her husband and children near Melbourne, Victoria.

Awards and Commissions

1983 Alice Springs Art Prize

1991 Professional Development Grant, Aboriginal Arts Unit, Australia Council for the Arts

2008 Commissioned to paint a 20 metre art installation depicting Grandmother’s Country for the 2008 RHS Chelsea Flower Show. This installation was awarded a Gold Medal.

Selected Exhibitions

1987 Exhibition in Brisbane with her father Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri, sister Michelle Possum and brother-in-law Heath

1988 Aboriginal Dot Painting, Melbourne

1992 Coo-ee Gallery, Sydney

1992 Washington DC, U.S.A.

1993 Berne, Switzerland

1998 Sztuka Aborygenow (Art of the Aborigines), Warsaw, Poland

1999 Flinders University Art Museum, Adelaide

1999 Aboriginal Art Galleries of Australia, Melbourne

2000 United Nations, New York

2001 Mia Mia Gallery, Melbourne

Selected Collections

National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory

Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide

Flinders University Art Museum, Adelaide

Holmes a Court Collection, Perth

Richard Kelton Foundation Collection, Santa Monica, USA

Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs

Winterthur Collection, Switzerland

Ranking Most Important Australian Indigenous Artists (both living and deceased)

2011 Ranked 60/100

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