Kara Ross paints with Warlukurlangu - Artists of Yuendumu which is an Aboriginal owned Art Centre in Central Australia, about 280 km's north/west of Alice Springs. It is there where I was able to select and purchase this unique and most impressive large painting by Kara.
This painting depicts the Pamapardu Jukurrpa (Flying Ant Dreaming) from Wapurtali, west of Yuendumu.
'Pamapardu' is the Warlpiri name for the flying ants or termites that build the large anthills found throughout Warlpiri country. This country belongs to Nakamarra/Napurrurla women and Jakamarra/Jupurrurla men. 'Pamapardu' are flying ants. They build earth mounds (‘mingkirri’) that are common in the Tanami area. When heavy rains come in summer the ‘mingkirri’ get flooded out, so the ‘pamapardu’ grow wings and fly off to make new homes, following their queens to dry mounds or to build a new. When they have found their new home they drop their wings. In this stage they can be collected, lightly cooked in coals and eaten. As they fall to the ground women collect them to eat because they are nice and sweet. In contemporary Warlpiri paintings traditional iconography is used to represent the Jukurrpa, particular sites and other elements.
When this Jukurrpa story is painted concentric circles are used to represent the ‘mingkirri’ and the rockholes involved in the story, including the central one at Wapurtali (Mt Singleton). Dashes are often depicted around the circles to represent the ‘pamapardu’
More about Kara:
Kara Napangardi Ross was born in 1984, in Alice Springs hospital, the nearest hospital to Yuendumu, a remote Aboriginal community located 290 km north-west of Alice Springs in the NT of Australia. She has lived in Yuendumu her whole life, attending the local school before studying at Yirara College in Alice Springs and then at Kormilda College in Darwin. After finishing school she returned to Yuendumu and married. She has two children a little girl Angie and a boy Terrence.
Kara has been painting with Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation since 2002, an Aboriginal owned and governed art centre located in Yuendumu, ca 280 km's north/west of Alice Spring in Central Australia. She often visited her grandfather Jack Jakamarra Ross who is one of the founding artists for this cooperative. She would sit with him and watch him paint his dreaming stories which have been passed down to her. They include the Pamapardu (Flying Ant Dreaming) and Janganpa (Native Possum Dreaming).
Apart from raising her two children and painting Kara also occasionally works at the local food store. Kara also often goes out hunting for traditional foods with her extended family members in the country around Yuendumu.