Micky Jampijinpa Singleton was born on Mount Doreen Station (an extensive cattle breeding station in NT) where he lived and worked as a stockman before moving to Yuendumu, an Aboriginal community located 290 km northwest of Alice Springs. He has lived most of his life between Yuendumu and Nyirripi, a community which started as an outstation of Yuendumu, located a further 160 kms west into the bush. He currently lives in Nyirripi. Mickey has one daughter and one son from his first marriage. His daughter Lynette lives in Willowra, and his son lives in Nyirripi. Mickey now lives with his second wife, Jeanie Napangardi Lewis, an artist in her own right. He has been painting on and off for many years. Because he did not have access to painting materials while he lived at Nyirripi – there is no art centre there – he would travel to Yuendumu and paint every day with Warlukurlangu Artists, an Aboriginal owned and governed art centre, before returning home to Nyirripi. Now that Warlukurlangu staff travel to Nyirripi with canvas and paint on a regular basis Mickey stays there. Mickey uses an unrestricted palette to develop a modern individualistic style to depict his traditional Jukurrpa (Dreamings).
Mickey paints his traditional Jukurrpa that has been passed down to him from his father and his fathers before him for millennia. These stories are creation stories that relate to Mickey’s traditional country. They include Ngapa Jakurrpa (Water Dreaming) and Wati Jarra (Two Men Dreaming). When he is not painting he loves to go hunting for kangaroo and goanna
The site depicted in this painting is Puyurru, west of Yuendumu. In the usually dry creek beds are water soakages or naturally occurring wells. Two Jangala men, rainmakers, sang the rain, unleashing a giant storm. It travelled across the country, with the lightning striking the land. This storm met up with another storm from Wapurtali, to the west, was picked up by a ‘kirrkarlan’ (brown falcon [Falco berigora]) and carried further west until it dropped the storm at Purlungyanu, where it created a giant soakage. At Puyurru the bird dug up a giant snake, ‘warnayarra’ (the ‘rainbow serpent’) and the snake carried water to create the large lake, Jillyiumpa, close to an outstation in this country. This story belongs to Jangala men and Nangala women. In contemporary Warlpiri paintings traditional iconography is used to represent the Jukurrpa, associated sites and other elements. In many paintings of this Jukurrpa curved and straight lines represent the ‘ngawarra’ (flood waters) running through the landscape. Motifs frequently used to depict this story include small circles representing ‘mulju’ (water soakages) and short bars depicting ‘mangkurdu’ (cumulus & stratocumulus clouds).