46 x 61 cm: acrylic on canvas
Mungili Rock Holes
“I was swimming there. Yeah, we go visit them a long time [ago]. We drink it, rain water from the rain. Big waterhole. It’s a fresh water, when the rain comes, fills it up. One for swimming and another rock hole for drinking.”
– Marlene Anderson
In this work Marlene depicts a waterhole and rock hole located in Mungili, the small outstation community located just off the Eagle Highway in Western Australia, approximately 430 kilometres northeast of Wiluna and 250 kilometres north of Warburton. Marlene grew up in Mungili, and as such it forms a significant part of her ‘ngurra’ (home Country, camp). Typically Marlene depicts this site with a central large circular form that represents the main waterhole, surrounded by smaller circular forms representing satellite water bodies.
During the pujiman (traditional, desert dwelling) period, knowledge of water sources was critical for survival, and today Martu Country is still defined in terms of the location and type of water. Each of the hundreds of claypans, rockholes, waterholes, soaks and springs found in the Martu desert homelands is known through real life experience and the recounting of Jukurrpa (Dreaming) narratives by name, location, quality and seasonal availability. This encyclopedic knowledge extends even to the nature and movement of arterial waterways, and sustained Martu as they travelled across their Country, hunting and gathering, visiting family, and fulfilling ceremonial obligations. They would traverse very large distances annually, visiting specific areas in the dry and wet season depending on the availability of water and the corresponding cycles of plant and animal life on which hunting and gathering bush tucker was reliant.
Martumili Artists warns visitors that our website includes images and artworks of Artists who have passed away which may cause distress to some Indigenous people.
Martumili Artists acknowledges the Nyiyaparli and Martu people as the Traditional Owners of the land we live and work on. We also acknowledge the Traditional Owners throughout our country and our Elders; past, present and emerging.