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'Wantili to Wuranu' by Lily Long and Sarah Brooks, 2007


'Wantili to Wuranu' by Lily Long and Sarah Brooks, 2007

Object information


This painting depicts sites from around well 25 to well 29 along the Canning Stock Route. Wantili is particularly significant place because this is where Kartujarra, Manyjilyjarra, Putujarra and Warnman people all come together. It is a jurnu (soak) and a claypan, where Jukurrpa women threw seeds. Well 25 is located close to Wantili, at a place called Yilkarr, but because of the former site's significance this well is commonly (though mistakenly) referred to as Wantili too.

There is not a great deal of information available about this painting. An original note on the painting story taken by someone [possibly Karen Dayman or Emmaline Schoenvedlt-Reid] at well 36 in 2007 suggests that "On the left hand side of the painting the trees are purple, the salt lake is white and the spinifex is yellow". It also notes that "Yinawalpu is also called Patujarra. Wilarra (the moon man) was at Murrlpu with two dogs. Wilarra carried Lily's brother on his back." The reference to Yinawalpu is unclear, although it is obviously one of the sites depicted in the painting, and most likely is Partujarapili. These references are better understood through reference to painting number IR 5004.0029 by Lily Long, where she notes, in a painting of Tiwa (well 26): "In the bottom left hand corner is Murrlpu [lit. backbone], which is my brother's country. It has a Wilarra Jukurrpa (Moon Dreaming). The moon was travelling past, in the Dreamtime, and he killed the dog. The dog turned into a rock, which is the hill Murrlpu, my brother's country. Jural is in the bottom right hand corner and the hills along the top edge are called Partujarapili." [Lily Long]

Physical description

A long rectangular painting on brown linen with a vertical line of blue circles with white border and black dotted edges down the centre. There are two smaller blue circles with white border and black dotted edges along the left edge of the painting. The larger blue circles are connected by a a beige dotted line and there are beige dotted lines from one of these circles out to the two side circles. The background of the painting is vertical rows of slim orange oblongs with dots of yellow, orange, white and maroon in between them. At the bottom edge is a stamp that reads 'Cat # 57 / form. / The / Canning / Stock / Route / Project' and text which reads 'LL/57/MM'. In the top left corner is the measurement '152 x 76'.

Statement of significance

The Canning Stock Route collection is comprised of 125 works and includes paintings, drawings, baskets, boomerangs, coolamons, headdresses, carved figures and shields.

The Canning Stock Route is a no-longer-used cattle droving route that traverses the Great Sandy and Gibson Deserts of central Western Australia. Comprised of 48 wells along an 1800 kilometres stretch of track, the route links Wiluna in the south with Sturt Creek in the north and traverses the traditional lands of nine Aboriginal language groups. The route was founded in 1905 when Alfred Canning was commissioned to investigate a route suitable for the droving of 500 head of cattle, with water sources spaced at intervals of no more than one day's walk apart. Although Canning's map records observations of the land and water resources, it makes no mention of Indigenous places and their associated meanings which the route traversed. This collection, composed of 'painting stories', sculptural works and oral histories, re-dresses Canning's omission and records the impact of the stock route on Indigenous lives and country. A six week journey with traditional owners held in July and August of 2007 inspired the artworks, many of which were produced during the journey, and provided an opportunity for more than 70 senior and emerging artists to reconnect with traditional lands..

Object information

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