Patricia Nakamarra Oldfield
Aboriginal Warlpiri woman
Patricia Nakamarra Oldfield grew up in and has lived in Yuendumu most of her life. She is the daughter of two Warlukurlangu painters. Patricia has been painting with Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation, an Aboriginal owned and governed art centre located in Yuendumu, since 2001. She paints stories that are closely associated with her traditional country. Her main story is Warna Jukurrpa (Snake Dreaming), Dreamings that have been passed down to her from her father and his father’s father for millennia.
This painting shows a Dreaming story of an ancestral snake 'Yarripiri.' Despite being crippled, the snake travelled across the lands searching for his family. On the canvas, Yarripiri tracks and paths are represented by arc shapes and curved lines.
'Yarripiri' was the ancestral snake that travelled through many significant sites during the Dreamtime. Today, special geographic formations can be seen where Yarripiri travelled. Where Yaripirri's tail slumped and touched the ground, creeks were formed such as Mijirlparnta, west of Yuendumu.
The site depicted in this painting is Ngama, located south of Yuendumu. The story describes the journey of Yarripiri, an ancestral ‘Warna’ (snake). Yarripiri was very sad as his family had left him behind at Wirnparrku. He was blind and crippled but he was determined to follow and search them out. Due to his physical state, he was carried by 'Kurdungurlu' (ceremonial police of the Dreaming) to help him find his family.