Yama

 Warnayaka Art represents acclaimed painters (e.g. Lily Nungarrayi Hargraves, Kitty Napanagka Simon, Rosie Napurrurla Tasman and many more). Our new project is building on this impressive artistic legacy by providing a platform for a new generation of talented, young artists, many of whom are seeking new forms of expression in new media technologies.

 YAMA, the Warlpiri word for 'reflection', 'mirror' or 'shadow', is an experimental project combining elements of new media, digital art, and installation with traditional indigenous artforms of song, ceremonial dance, and Jukurrpa (dreaming) painting.

Australia Council

Australia Council

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.
Warnayaka Art Centre artists learning more about Photoshop every day!

Warnayaka Art Centre artists learning more about Photoshop every day!

  New digital collage from Neil Jupurrurla Cooke (soon to be titled) in collaboration with French artist Lisa Schittulli   "We have got the snake that represents Water Dreaming, we have got turkeys, we have got Bush Potato Dreaming, also Kangaroo Dreaming, and all the native animals. As we look up in the sky we can see the emu that gives us more information about the Dreamtime story, it's all in one, as we sing, as we do body paintings. We sing at night and we are celebrating the land. The rain is freshing up the land so that everybody and the animals can live. You have got the possum that lives in the rocks that represents Possum Dreaming. It's about what we see, what we hear from the elders, from the old people, passing the message to Warlpiri young and old, especially young people to learn from this Jukurrpa. We represent our culture, we have lived on it for many years." Neil Jupurrurla Cooke
YAMA Kids - Carousel

YAMA Kids - Carousel

We couldn't resist getting some more of these gorgeous faces into the YAMA project! This short video is a collaboration between the art centre, Mt Theo Youth Program, and the Lajamanu School, led by Gretta Louw. All the kids took their own videos and made their own voice recordings. The video was shown on the big screen (to much excitement) at one of the community exhibitions in March.
Digital Desert

Digital Desert

Here's a great little detail video of the multimedia component of the YAMA installation. The abstract-looking video shows a projection being beamed up onto the roof of the YAMA humpy (which is decorated with a painting by Agnes Napanangka Donnelly), and reflected and refracted by mirrors and other odds and ends salvaged from around the community by Neil Jupurrurla Cooke and his assistants. The video is by Michael Erglis.
Digital Frames

Digital Frames

This afternoon we have installed a series of digital photo frames in the art centre to show off our growing database of cellphone photos and digital artworks from the community. We have everything here from family shots to football teams and - like anywhere in the world these days - a whole lot of selfies!
Lajamanu School Visit

Lajamanu School Visit

YAMA artists Neil Jupurrurla Cook and Gretta Louw talk to Lajamanu School students. Photo courtesy of Geraldine Nakamarra Simon This week we had an afternoon visit from a big group of energetic Lajamanu School students. Neil Jupurrurla told them about the YAMA project and supervised them drawing chalk drawings on the ground around the YAMA yujuku, while Gretta did some audiovisual work with the kids; recording their voices for the installation. 
Isaiah Jungarrayi - Cellphone Art

Isaiah Jungarrayi - Cellphone Art

I Heart Paris, digital collage, Isaiah Jungarrayi Lewis, 2014 Another great example of the outback kitsch aesthetic that is taking over the mobile phones of Lajamanu. Isaiah Jungarrayi has actually visited the Eiffel Tower on a trip to Europe last year for mentoring and training with Australian, German-based digital artist Gretta Louw as part of the YAMA project. The trip was sponsored by the Australia Council.
Land - Teacher - Knowledge

Land - Teacher - Knowledge

Last night teacher, academic, and Warlpiri cultural man Steve Jampijinpa Patrick stopped by the art centre - he's in Lajamanu for a visit from his usual research position in Canberra - and drew us this beautiful little cultural and conceptual map of the country. All totally off the cuff! Jampijinpa is an absolute wealth of knowledge about not only his country in the Tanami, but also songlines and Jukurrpa stories that span the entire continent.
Talbot Well

Talbot Well

This digital collage was created by Sharon Nampijinpa Anderson as a quick test-run for a larger work that is currently in progress - in collaboration with digital artist Gretta Louw. The central image is a low-fi shot of Nampijinpa's traditional country; the english name for the site is Talbot Well. It's after the wet season as the water is high, and there are even swans peacefully swimming atop the fresh water's surface - a rare sight out in the desert. Nampijinpa has included the faces of all her family members - both alive and deceased - which is a very significant (and potentially controversial) choice for an indigenous artist. The final piece deals with issues of ownership, dreaming, cultural heritage, and responsibility. More on the final piece soon!

Neil and Gretta Talk Digital

YAMA lead artist Neil Jupurrurla Cook talks to collaborating artist Gretta Louw about the digital database of community mobile phone photos that are being collected as part of the project; the difference between images of Warlpiri now and 50 years ago; and incorporating digital images into the YAMA yujuku. Watch the short video.
Parliamentarian Visit

Parliamentarian Visit

This afternoon we had three parliamentarians stop by the art centre to meet the artists, art centre workers, and see all the artwork. Senator Nova Peris, and members of parliament Ken Vowles and Gerry McCarthy were all impressed with the vibrancy of Warnayaka artists' painting. They were really interested in the YAMA project and were looking forward to seeing the works exhibited elsewhere - hopefully they will help us with funding then because transporting anything from the very remote community of Lajamanu costs a fortune! We told them that we are grateful to the Australia Council who has funded the production of the YAMA project so far, including a mentoring trip for two lead Warnayaka artists over to Europe to work with Gretta Louw. Production of YAMA has been funded by the Indigenous Experimental Arts Fund - a great initiative! Also in the images above, you can see senior law woman and acclaimed painter Lily Nungarrayi Hargraves, who is currently at work on a mammoth new painting for an overseas collector.
Yapa's Protector

Yapa's Protector

YAPA's Protector, video still, Jasmine Nangala Patrick, 2014 Nangala has just finished this beautiful (and funny!) short video about the significance of the Australian coat of arms. The kangaroo, the emu, and the shield all hold strong meaning in Warlpiri culture - and represent the rule of law and justice over all, and, equally, the way that all people should be protected under this coat of arms.
Great Shots From Friday Night

Great Shots From Friday Night

Local photographer Michael Erglis took these creative shots of the second YAMA exhibition at Lajamanu last Friday evening. Neil Jupurrurla Cook's painting of his country on the wall of the yujuku seemed to really capture Michael's imagination! See more of Michael's work here.
Geraldine Nakamarra Simon

Geraldine Nakamarra Simon

The school kids came over to art centre today they were excited about what they did. it was so great to get along with the kids also I took picture of them as well.I like my job as an arts worker and I like doing the YAMA art project its a great work, it keeps me well. I took this photo two weeks ago with my phone, and then I decorate it. I downloaded the template from play store. I like using them just for fun. - Geraldine Nakamarra
Colours and Contrast

Colours and Contrast

YAMA Installation detail, photo by Michael Erglis Local photographer Michael Erglis took some fantastic shots of the second YAMA community exhibition on Friday. This one captures the stark light, strong contrasts, and brilliant colours perfectly.
Experiments with Projectors

Experiments with Projectors

Last night visiting collaborating artist Gretta Louw arranged an experimental photoshoot with Neil Jupurrurla's painting, cameras, projectors, and the two lead artists themselves. This is just a taste of better things to come! The final piece will become a large-format digital print on acrylic glass, which will form part of the YAMA exhibition at a yet-to-be-confirmed location. The photographer for the evening was Michael Erglis (Japanangka).

YAMA Collaborators

The list - so far - of artists and community members who have been involved with the YAMA project... As you can see, it is truly a community, collaborative work! Lead artists: Neil Jupurrurla Cook, Gretta Louw (Napanangka) Supporting: Alistair Jampijinpa Jigili, Isaiah Jungarrayi Lewis, Dane Jakamarra Luther, Sharon Nampijinpa Anderson, Agnes Napanangka Donnelly, Ralphie Japangardi Dixon, Jasmine Nangala Patrick, Sheree Napanangka Anderson, Geraldine Nakamarra Simon, Miranda Napurrurla Cook, Patrina Napangardi Johnson, Sonya Napangardi Johnson, Jenny Napurrurla Johnson, Natalie Napanangka Ross, Michael Erglis (Japanangka), Sam (Jakamarra).   Cultural Advisers: Jerry Jangala Patrick, Henry Jakamarra Cook   Project Management: Louisa Erglis (Napurrurla)
Hard at Work

Hard at Work

Jasmine Nangala Patrick gets some feedback from her husband, art centre worker Ralf Japangardi. Nangala has been hard at work on her latest video piece. This one will be about the role of the kangaroo and the emu in Warlpiri culture, and how this relates to the Australian coat of arms. It's a story about indigenous and non-indigenous law, and learning from and respecting one another. Judging from the giggles though, the piece will take a light-hearted approach to these serious topics!
Snake Dreaming

Snake Dreaming

Snake Dreaming, wall painting, Neil Jupurrurla Cook, 2014 Neil Jupurrurla and his assistant Ralfy Japangardi have just finished another painting on the YAMA yujuku - Snake Dreaming is one of Jupurrurla's traditional dreaming stories. It looks so striking in such large scale!
Videos Ahoy!

Videos Ahoy!

Jasmine Nangala Patrick is out and about in Lajamanu today, filming for her new video piece that will be presented to the community at the third and final YAMA exhibition at the art centre this Friday. Nangala has extensive experience in media, having worked with PAW Media, NT Mojos, WYDAC Mt Theo, and the Central Land Coucil. We are thrilled to have her on board with YAMA, and can't wait to see her telling her own stories for a change!
Unique Aesthetic - Future History

Unique Aesthetic - Future History

Digital collage, Sheree Napanangka Anderson, 2014 Although very few people in Lajamanu own their own computers, digital image manipulation and creative use of digital collage techniques are very common here. Mobile phones are the primary artistic resource here in the digital field and people are adept at using this rather limited tool to achieve their desired effect. The rampant popularity of downloadable digital photo templates, effects, and decorations is a testament to people's interest in digital creativity and image construction. One of the very significant tasks of the YAMA project team - supported and coordinated by art centre Manager, Louisa Erglis, of which I am a part - is to gather and save as many of these digital images as possible. We believe that this collection of images - which range from funny to sentimental, kitsch to contemporary - is an extremely important record of people, family, and culture in Lajamanu, as well as technological and cultural change, and art-making practices. As a digital artist myself, I am so curious about the fantastic images that are being created in Lajamanu - and I have the distinct feeling that this is going to be seen, in retrospect, as a significant moment in the development of Warlpiri and Lajamanu art. Future history in the making... - Gretta Louw www.grettalouw.com www.dailyGIF.net
Digital Photos - Community Archive

Digital Photos - Community Archive

YAMA installation detail, 2014. Photo by Gretta Louw The YAMA project is not only a physical archive of life in Lajamanu - the history and present day - but we are also incorporating a growing digital archive of community mobile phone photos. The beginnings of our archive were shown on digital photo frames inside the YAMA yujuku (humpy, or shed) at last week's exhibition, shown alongside digitized copies of photos taken of Lajamanu residents in the 1950s and 60s by the then superintendent. Old and new; future historical records and memories of the past. We asked visitors to bring in their own mobile phone photos to add to our collection next week.
YAMA Community Exhibition 2

YAMA Community Exhibition 2

YAMA Community Exhibition 2, Lajamanu. Photos by Gretta Louw The second community exhibition and BBQ at Warnayaka Art for the YAMA project attracted even more local visitors than the previous week. These two photos show the physical installation before the sun set and the multimedia aspects came to the fore. There was lots of discussion and interest in the work - and plenty of positive feedback for the artists.
Yujuku-kurlu Video

Yujuku-kurlu Video

Check out the fab video Jasmine Nangala Patrick put together of our YAMA community exhibition last week! Nangala is a young filmmaker based in Lajamanu, and we are really looking forward to more involvement from her in the art centre.
YAMA Community Exhibition Round 2

YAMA Community Exhibition Round 2

Getting ready to do it all again tonight - YAMA community exhibition round two, with different videos, paintings, photos and more! Documentation to come, next week!
YAMA Photo Exhibition

YAMA Photo Exhibition

Another picture of the YAMA exhibition last Friday, showing the photo exhibition by two local photographers. It was a big hit with the community!

Neil Jupurrurla Cooke talks about YAMA

Back in the 50s and 60s, or even the 40s and 30s, right through to the 70s - we were living in humpies; collecting sheets of iron that were lying in the tip, or anywhere, to make humpies. They used to grab forked tree branches, six of them, and put a rail across, and put sheets of iron on the sides and up on the roof, and cover that with calico, to make those humpies tight and stable. During the rainy season we used to live in the humpy and hear the rain pouring down on the iron outside - it was so nice. The humpy kept us cool during the hot weather too. Sometimes we had a doorway and put a sheet of iron on the ground just outside, with wood on top for a fire, so that we could sleep outside during the cold season. That was really good. We had no lights, just firewood. Today we've got electricity and we have to pay for it with our power card - even the lights and power to watch TV, and we have showers inside with hot and cold water, washing machines and fridges. But in the old days there wasn't anything like that. The old days were better because we watched the fire burning outside, and the stars shining in the sky - no television - we went to sleep early, or told stories until we went to sleep. In the 70s it started to change; we had streetlights along the roads, and they brought things to build houses and they started to build new houses that we moved into. That wasn't the way we used to live on the ground. It was hard on those floors in the house; at first I didn't like sleeping on the cement. We used to dig a shallow hole in the ground outside and put a blanket down to sleep - even in the cold weather you could feel the hot heat coming up from the ground. In the cold weather we moved the iron and the dirt around to keep the heat in. And we used the earth as a pillow, and made straight beds for ourselves so we could sleep straight, not on the cement.  Now we are used to the houses, and it's good too. We are living in a new way. It's a new lifestyle and way of living that we never had before - but we still think about the humpy, look back to our grandfathers and grandmothers, aunties and uncles, how they used to live in the bush. I feel sad to think about that because we aren't living that way anymore. Now we pay rent. New things came in - and even though I'm alright in my life, deep in my heart, I still think back to those days. This YAMA project is a way for me to remember and honour those times when I was a young boy. I used to like it, and I still think back. Back then we didn't know about photos - even if the superintendent took a photo of us, we didn't know. We never used to know about these cameras. After, when they showed the picture to us, we used to think 'hey! how come? it was only a machine!'. Little things like that. Now that we understand about all this, it's good to use and to make more videos and photos to give to our kids. All those who are related to us - we want to give it to them, to show our relations about our stories. Or to show our grandkids their ancestors. It's about family, knowing your family lines and what you're related to - your jukurrpa (dreaming); we are all related to our country. I want to make this project for my community, so that they can support me and help me to keep culture strong. We show it to kardiya (non-indigenous) to show them how we feel about our culture and our history and dreamtime stories, if they want to know about it. We can't go back to the way we used to live. We can't go back. But when we look forward, we want to live in a house where we feel comfortable; maybe we have an air conditioner or fan to keep us cool, or have a shower in the light, and a mirror to comb our hair or shave our whiskers. We can't go back to the past anymore. We can get up and go to the toilet in the night - no snakes, nothing like that. Before, we used to feel the snake going past in the night. We can't hear the dogs anymore, they sleep outside, and we have television inside. We have a kitchen and everything where we can cook on the stove. We've got to learn to live like we want to be. But it's still important to remember country, how to live there. That's all in YAMA. - Neil Jupurrurla Cooke (lead artist)
YAMA Exhibition - Staff Perspective

YAMA Exhibition - Staff Perspective

My name is Jenny Johnson Napurrula and  I am  from  Lajamanu and I work at  Warnayaka  Art  Centre.  On Friday from about 6pm to  8pm at  night  it was  such a great night for all of  the  Art  Centre  Staff and Members. Some of the  Kardiya (non-indigenous) joined in with us and helped us. It was about YAMA  Project  that we showed them about. So that's what YAMA Project is about and we had all the photos around the little YAMA shed  just outside the Art  Centre  and  also we showed them videos as well.  Some kids helped Sam Jakamarra cook sausage and onion and we had bread and cold cordial. So  We  had  a little  BBQ at  the Art  Centre  just to bring people to show them about what YAMA Project means and to  show  the  kids  as well. And it was so nice - the shed was so colourful, it  looked great with everything  inside it and outside. People were so happy to see that.
Artwork on the artwork

Artwork on the artwork

Alistair Jampijinpa Jigili assists lead YAMA artist Neil Jupurrurla Cooke in painting a Jukurrpa (dreaming) story from Jupurrurla's country on the humpy wall. There's a great buzz and energy around the installation today, and the old men are sitting around the back telling stories and relaxing.
First YAMA Exhibition - Lajamanu

First YAMA Exhibition - Lajamanu

Friday, 21st of March, YAMA Exhibition - Lajamanu Last Friday night was the first community event and exhibition for the YAMA project, held at Warnayaka Art, here in Lajamanu. The humpy installation was debuted to great acclaim from the community audience; we watched video recordings of Warlpiri traditional ceremonies, enjoyed a photo exhibition by two local photographers, watched the sun go down, and enjoyed a delicious BBQ cooked by the local doctor and the artists. The very first exhibition of installation and media art in the very remote community of Lajamanu was a resounding success!
Jerry Jangala Patrick - YAMA advisor

Jerry Jangala Patrick - YAMA advisor

Jerry Jangala Patrick is a community elder and vital cultural adviser at Warnayaka Art. His artwork - Jukurrpa (dreaming) paintings, and wooden artefacts - are always in hot demand as well. Jangala is one of the key advisers to the YAMA project; here he has just finished inspecting the construction of the installation.
Getting Comfortable

Getting Comfortable

Lajamanu elder and Warnayaka artist Henry Jakamarra Cooke makes himself comfortable in the finished YAMA humpy for his morning nap. Gotta love his style!
Two Jupurrurlas

Two Jupurrurlas

Two Jupurrurlas working on the YAMA humpy These two Jupurrurlas - Neil and Peter - have been working hard the last few days to get the YAMA humpy ready for the first event this Friday. Jerry Jangala Patrick, one of the Lajamanu elders, has chosen several old and new digital works to be exhibited within the humpy - and he will also talk about the works and Warlpiri history and dreaming. It should be a fantastic event!
Dreaming and Digital Art

Dreaming and Digital Art

Hello everyone my name is Sharon Nampijinpa Anderson I'm originally from Yuendumu which is West of Alice Springs but my parents decided to moved to Lajamanu which South West of Katherine, North of Tanami Desert. I have been through both ways education which enables me to read and write in my own language which is called Warlpiri. At first I didn't know anything about digital art until I was taught by Gretta. As I was traveling through the Tanami Road I took photos of the water and lakes along the way then I had this idea came to me that I should do a project on Water Dreaming so that I can share with my families and grand children. The first thing I did was I took the photos and download the photos into mac computer.  From there I had to get other pictures from web and other people. Me and Gretta did lots of editing on this project. It is important to tell our stories through digital art not only through paintings or videos because for younger generations they can see the clear picture of where that story or jukurrpa is coming from and which area or country it belongs to. I would to thank ANKAAA staff for providing me with a new camera for my work. Ngapa Dreaming, digital collage by Sharon Nampijinpa Anderson and Gretta Louw, 2014
YAMA Humpy

YAMA Humpy

Work in Progress - the YAMA Humpy; photos by Neil Jupurrurla Cook The first YAMA community event and exhibition is taking place in the humpy this Friday and Neil Jupurrurla is working hard to get the structure finished. Meanwhile, other Warnayaka artists are working with visiting collaborating artist Gretta Louw (Napanangka) on new digital artworks to debut at the event. Warnayaka Art Centre is a hive of activity this week!
Agnes Napanangka Donnelly talks about her new style

Agnes Napanangka Donnelly talks about her new style

Agnes Napanangka Donnelly with two of her paintings; photo by Sharon Nampijinpa Anderson She went on a trip to Sydney with her big sister, Kitty Napanangka Simon, and learned a new style of painting, which she is experimenting with in her own work. Kitty developed her own new style at Warnayaka Art Centre in Lajamanu and went to Sydney for an exhibition at Cooee Gallery. The two artists decided to go to Steve Gully in the Blue Mountains, where they did some painting workshops and he taught Napanangka to paint four new styles of painting. Napanangka makes these paintings with gloves, hand movements, brushes, and acrylic paint on canvas. Napanangka is using the YAMA humpy as her own gallery!
Jenny Napurrurla Johnson talks about YAMA

Jenny Napurrurla Johnson talks about YAMA

YAMA means that to teach younger kids and young teenagers about this project and other thing as well when kids go out anywhere its that when we there with them its  just still part of our YAMA project work, even when we take photos about them out in the bush its still part of our work. Some of the school kids  come to art centre and do painting and we take photos of them and we put all of their paintings and photos together with their story and bring that up to YAMA project and its part of our art centre work too and we do need young teenaged boys and girls to work with us as they might come up with there own ideas around our community. We need young kids to get involved with all the staff at Lajamanu art centre - and other thing is feel free to come to art centre and join in with us in YAMA project, its about our community especially for our young teenagers to keep them busy instead of walking around all night, keep them away from breaking in and sniffing. We don't wont that to happen in our community we need to help them to keep our kids busy in our community and other thing is that  we  getting some  old people involved as well with us in this YAMA project we need them to help us with our young teenagers and young ones I think its very important for our community and for our people to help each other. I think its very good for us to help all our kids in the community, its safer for them to do this YAMA project. - Jenny Napurrurla Johnson
Duck Pond Dreaming

Duck Pond Dreaming

Nationally acclaimed artist and senior Warlpiri law woman, Lily Nungarrayi Hargraves, tells the story of her painting - Duck Pond Dreaming. We invited Nungarrayi to showcase her latest work inside the growing YAMA art installation at Warnayaka Art Centre and she explained the story of the flowing water and bush turkey at the sacred Duck Pond site near Lajamanu in the Tanami Desert region of the Northern Territory, Australia. This Jukurrpa (Dreaming) story was her father's and has been passed down to her; it's the Dreaming for Nungarrayi, Jungarrayi, Napaljarri, and Japaljarri skin groups. Watch Nungarrayi's story here.  
Teamwork

Teamwork

The first wall of the humpy is finished! Collaborating artists Gretta Louw (Napanangka) and Neil Jupurrurla Cooke relax after a hard day's work. Many thanks also to Peter, who came all the way from Germany to help out.
Neil Jupurrurla At Work

Neil Jupurrurla At Work

  Work is underway on the humpy construction for the YAMA installation. Despite the heat,  Neil Jupurrurla Cooke - one of the lead artists - was working on installing the corrugated iron walls today. Here, he talks to collaborating artist Gretta Louw about the process. It's starting to come together! Check out the video
Neil Jupurrurla Cooke in Paris

Neil Jupurrurla Cooke in Paris

On our walks around Paris we found some magnifacent art.  This is Neil Jupurrurla Cooke.
Video Viewing

Video Viewing

A novel way to view a video.  

Old Objects Put to use

Materials used are sourced from around the town.  They will house digital imagery on small photo frames.

Collaboration

YAMA, is a collaboration between Warnayaka Art Centre (especially younger artists like Isaiah Jungarrayi Lewis, Neil Jupurrurla Cooke, Sharon Nampijinpa Anderson, and Rebecca Napanangka Farrell), the Lajamanu community, and key external collaborating artists, like German-based, Australian artist Gretta Louw. The project will result in a large-scale multimedia installation, along with a new body of digital, video, and printed works that will be exhibited throughout Australia and overseas.

Welcome

Hello everyone and welcome to our brand new blog! This is the place where we will post every week the progression of our digital installation. Hope you will follow along! Stay tuned. Warnayaka artists
Installation Art

Installation Art

  In June 2013 Warnayaka Art Centre coordinator Louisa Erglis took Neil Jupurrurpla Cooke and Isaiah Jungarrayi  Lewis to Germany, France and Switzerland to see what Installation Art is.  We visited many places. This was their first ever visits to museums or overseas.    

Ideas coming together

  The sharing of ideas.  Sitting under a shady tree. - this is Yama.

Projections and still images will be used

Digital images will be used .... we are looking forward to them coming together.
Artist: Isaiah Lewis Jungarrayi

Artist: Isaiah Lewis Jungarrayi

Isaiah Jungarrayi Lewis, one of the artists working on Yama has a creative talent needing expression. He is beginning in his artistic career producing small film clips and painting. Isaiah works as an arts worker in Warnayaka Art Centre.  In discussions with the arts coordinator centred around formation of children to youth and adult hood Yama was born.
Project leader Neil Cooke and art centre Director Scott Dixon

Project leader Neil Cooke and art centre Director Scott Dixon

Neil Cooke Jupurrurla (foreground) heads up the project. He is here in discussions with Warnayaka Art Centre Director Scott Dixon Japangardi.