Inma pulka (Big ceremony)
Inma pulka (Big ceremony)

Nellie Patterson Profile & Artworks

Inma pulka (Big ceremony)

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Paintings depict the Tjukurpa, the Law and stories of Ancestors. Anangu (Central and Western Desert Aboriginal people) have responsibilities for the protection and teaching of different Tjukurpa and there are strict protocols for the imparting of knowledge. The dotting technique has evolved with the need to adapt sacred expressions of Tjukurpa for public viewing and as a depiction of the desert landscape.

Nellie describes this canvas as inma pulka, a big ceremony. The singing, dancing and body painting involves  laws of nature, traditionally providing a blue print for life and a guiding map of country. Concentric circles mark places of importance: water points or sacred sites, created by the Ancestors. The sites are linked through the song cycles and stories and the people who still meet today to share and celebrate and pass on the different Tjukurpa and the links it forms with other parts of their country and kin. 

Nellie's painting is about sharing inma and culture. The central circle is Kapi Mutitjulu, Mutitjulu Waterhole, with rock art sites to the side related to the gathering of food. The two hands she has painted into her story hold maku, or witchetty grubs, and tjala, honey ants, both foods and totemic ancestors. They are reaching out to call on the Wanampi or Water Serpent for water.


Artist: Nellie Patterson

Size: 89cm X 58cm

Medium: Acrylic on canvas

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