Gelingkenayin by Mabel Juli
Gelingkenayin by Mabel Juli
Mabel Juli c. 1933
120 x 120cm
Natural ochre and pigment on canvas
Catalogue # : WAC453/08
©Mabel Juli/Copyright Agency 2018
Mabel Juli is renowned for her refined black and white depiction of Garnkiny doo Wardel (Moon and Star), an important Ngarranggarni (Dreaming) story that explores forbidden love, kinship and the origins of our mortality. This beautiful work in typical Mabel Juli style, explains a particular rock formation found in a valley in Warlu, otherwise known as Springvale Station.
The image Juli has painted represents one of the key Ngarrangkarni (Dreaming) stories for the region. In the Ngarrangkarni, Gelingkenayin, the rainbow was a man. He was travelling through Warlu Country hunting for kangaroo with his marranyji (dingo). His dog was good and loyal. Each time he would send out his dog and the dog would track and kill the jiyirriny (kangaroo), come back to his master and lead him to the carcass. Gelingkenayin,came to a deep valley, with steep hills on each side. He sent out Marranyji and the dog ran up one side of the hill and was gone a long while. Gelingkenayin called out to his dog, but there was no answer. He walked up one side of the hill and called, but no response. He walked down the hill back into the valley and called for his marranyji again, still nothing. He walked to the top of the opposite hill in the valley, still nothing. Dejected and upset Gelingkenayin walked back down to the valley and sat quietly. It started to get dark. As the daylight slipped from the valley, Gelingkenayin heard a deep growl from behind him. Gelingkenayin turned his head to where the noise came from and as he turned his shape became stone. You can still see Gelingkenayin in that valley today. The rocky hill in the middle of the Warlu Valley is recognised as the shape of Gelingkenayin’s profile.
Mabel Juli (birth name Wiringgoon) was born c.1933 at Five Mile, south of Warmun in the Kimberley region of Western Australia and moved to Springvale Station as a baby. She left there as a young girl to be with her promised husband and together they moved to different cattle stations for work.
Mabel Juli is a senior Warmun artist. She is a strong Law and Culture woman and an important ceremonial singer and dancer. Juli started painting in the 1980's at the same time as well known Warmun artists Queenie McKenzie and Madigan Thomas. The women used to watch the great Rover Thomas paint and one day he said to them, 'You should give it a try'. Juli is a dedicated, innovative artist who continues to work in natural earth pigments on canvas.
National Gallery of Victoria
Art Gallery of News South Wales
Art Gallery of South Australia
Queensland Art Gallery
Kaplan Collection, USA
Foundation Burkhardt-Felder Arts et Culture, Switzerland
Excerpts from text by and with courtesy of Warmun Art Centre