New Works


24-466 – Noreena Kadibil


1 in stock

Noreena Kadibil
Acrylic on Canvas
46 x 76 cm
Year: 2024

Warming up in the Winter, Pujiman People

“This painting is of pujiman (traditional, desert dwelling) [people]. It’s around Parnngurr area. The men are getting ready to go hunting. There’s dingoes; Pujiman would get ’em as a little baby and raise ’em up to keep as hunting dogs. [There’s] Kids staying home, and women too. Shade is made from spinifex. Not much of a shelter but to keep the heat away.”

– Noreena Kadibil


Depicted in this work is a scene of everyday pujiman (traditional, desert dwelling) life at Parnngurr rockhole as communicated to Noreena by her parents and grandparents. Parnngurr rockhole is located just south of Parnngurr Aboriginal community. At the junction of three linguistic groups; Manyjilyjarra, Kartujarra, and Warnman, it was a critical and permanent source of water during the pujiman era that supported many ritual large gatherings. During this nomadic period families stopped and camped here depending on the seasonal availability of water and the corresponding cycles of plant and animal life on which hunting and gathering bush tucker was reliant. At Parnngurr and other similarly important camp sites families would meet for a time before moving to their next destination. Parnngurr and its surrounds are physically dominated by distinctively red tali (sandhills), covered sparingly with spinifex and low lying shrub.

Parnngurr is also important site chronicled in the epic Jukurrpa (Dreaming) story of the Minyipuru (Jakulyukulyu, Seven Sisters). The sisters stopped to rest on Parnngurr Hill before continuing on their long journey east. Minyipuru is a central Jukurrpa narrative for Martu, Ngaanyatjarra, Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara people that is associated with the seasonal Pleiades star constellation.

It is of great significance to the creative output of Martumili Artists that some of the last of the remaining pujimanpa (traditional, desert dwellers) comprise a high portion of the core elders that paint with the group. Through these elders critical traditional cultural and social knowledge has been, and continues to be, passed on to younger Martu artists; knowledge from the pujiman (traditional, desert dwelling) era. At this time Martu traversed very large distances annually in small family groups, moving seasonally from water source to water source, and hunting and gathering bush tucker as they went. 

Whilst desert life has moved away from mobile hunter-gatherer subsistence throughout the course of the twentieth century, all Martumili Artists, young and old, have regular experience of the practices that most closely approximate the pujiman lifestyle. Living between Newman and the remote Martu communities of Punmu, Parnngurr, Kunawarritji, Jigalong, Irrungadji (Nullagine) and Warralong, knowledge of Jukurrpa (Dreaming) narratives, kapi (water) location and quality, and the medicinal properties of native plants, as well as the continued practices of hunting, gathering, and waru (fire) burning are all transferred to younger generations as integral components of everyday life. 

In addition to strong cultural and social maintenance through life in Aboriginal communities, cultural knowledge is transferred through visual arts as practiced by Martumili Artists. Younger Martu artists typically begin painting with their parents, grandparents and extended family, thus fostering an organic process of learning, not only about painting techniques, but also specific locations, family histories, traditional ways of life, bush tucker and Jukurrpa.

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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.