Ms Nyapanyapa Yunupingu1945 - 2021 Djulpan seven sisters story 2012
- ochre on stringybark
'Nyapanyapa Yunupingu is woman of small stature, but big on style. Her art practice is quite independent of any bark-painting tradition within the Arnhem Land region. She is the daughter of the famous cultural leader Munggurrawuy Yunupingu and sister to Galarrwuy and Mandawuy, both Australians of the Year. She is a widow and was the wife of Djiriny Manunggur, a Djapu clan leader. Franchesca Cubillo, in Undisclosed: 2nd National Indigenous Art Triennial, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2012
Yirrkala-based painter Nyapanyapa Yunupingu is one of Australia's leading contemporary indigenous artists and enjoys an international reputation. She gives this statement about her painting Djulpan:
This story is about seven sisters who went out in their canoe called a djulpan. During certain seasons they used to go hunting for food and always came back with different types of food. They would come back with turtle, fish, freshwater snakes and also bush foods like yams and berries.
They can now be seen in the sky of a night seven stars that come out together like they are shown on the painting. The stars come in the season when the food and berries come out; the stars will travel through the sky during that month until the season is over and then they don't come out until the next season.
They are the constellation called Pleiades and they are being chased by two brothers (Orion). They sail over the northern horizon and when they get home they light their fires.
© Nyapanyapa Yunupingu and Buku-Larrngay Mulka Art Centre, Yirrkala