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Michelle Possum Nungurrayi

"My Grandmother's Country" by Michelle Possum


Commission Painting

Size: 107 x 53cm

Medium: Acrylic on Canvas

Commission work available

Michelle was born in 1970 in the remote Mount Allan, to northwest of Alice Springs. She and her siblings were taught to paint at a very young age by her father, who happened to be the famous Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri. She began painting in the mid-eighties and to this day still portrays her father’s unique style in her work, in addition to bolder color and the use of female ceremonies and stories.

 Her work is typically aerial views of where she grew up and all the iconography of the sites she knows so well. She also paints a variety of different things including bush tucker stories, seed dreamings, fire dreamings, worm dreamings, goanna dreamings, and her grandmother’s country. Many of these are woven together in her art.

 Her works are popular because once the visual images are understood, they become very interesting to the average Westerner. Not only do her paintings include plants, food items, and waterholes, but they also include people sitting in the landscape, men with hunting tools, and women with digging sticks and coolamons.

 Michelle currently lives and works in Melbourne and is often found painting in the company of her sister, Gabriella.

About the Painting

Grandmother's Country depicts motifs that give symbolic form to tribal women engaged in cultural activities in a desert environment known as Yuelamu, which the women inherited from their Ancestral Grandmother, who traveled to this Anmatyerre site in the Tanami Desert during the Dreamtime, at Creation.

Represented as symbolic U-shapes, the women are shown in different areas collecting wild-growing bush food, which is given form through star-like shapes that represent berry bushes, while clusters of pool-encased small dots and large dots serve to represent various types of berries and bush plums that the women collect.