In her second solo show ‘Childhood Memories of Kuruyultu’, Eunice Napanangka Jack reflects on the life changing journey she undertook when she was still ‘a little baby’ and travelled by foot and piggyback on her mum from Kuruyultu to Haasts Bluff. These childhood memories deeply manifest themselves in her painting, which shows the endless sandhills between Kuruyultu near Tjukurla in Western Australia and Ikuntji/Haasts Bluff in the Northern Territory.
Eunice paints the Tjukurrpa (Dreaming) of her father; the country at Kuruyultu, near Tjukurrla in Western Australia.
She is the Wallaby Woman.
This is her story.
This is my country. I can’t remember how it all happened, because it happened before I was born. I have a scar on my back from it.
My grandfather speared a wallaby at Kuruyultu. That night he ate that wallaby. At the same time my mother could feel me moving inside her. She was heavily pregnant with me. That next morning, after my grandfather had speared the wallaby, killed it and eaten it, I was born. I was born at Kuruyultu, near the rockhole there. I can’t remember my grandfather or my grandmother. I was still a little baby. We left that place, Kuruyultu. My father, my mother, my big sister and my father’s brother, we all left together and went to Haasts Bluff. I grew up in Haasts Bluff.
I have been back to Kuruyultu for visits but I never lived there again in my country. I think about it every day. Only my father knows all the stories for that country and he painted them too … all the men’s stories.
I know the story of the wallaby mother and daughter which left me with a birthmark. That’s what I paint: the wallaby mother and daughter.
– EUNICE NAPANANGKA JACK