Weaver Jack – Lungarung, 2006
152 x 152 cm
Acrylic on canvas
Not available for acquisition
Short St Gallery for the Yulparitja Artists of Bidyadanga (official art centre), WA.
Weaver says: “This is me, this is mine. The whole lot is me (she points to the x mark in the painting). I bin walking all around, I know him proper way, he is always here (clasp her heart). We are same one, my country is me. He long way that way, but he still here.”
Weaver primarly paints her traditional country south of Well 33 on the Canning Stock Route. When she first started to paint, the outlines of the country were laid bare on the canvas. Like a skeleton of the country, slowly she reclaimed this country dotting over it, lossely at first. She said these were the people walking all around that country, collecting mayi (bush food) and hunting for kuwi (meat). Slowly the country merged with the people. It was then she started putting herself in the paintings, and through her painting, Weaver managed to reclaim her country.
Lungarung is the place where Weaver was born, a jila (waterhole) in the Great Sandy Desert in Western Australia. This is in Winpa country on the Canning Stock
Route around the Perceval Lakes, where a big snake lives in the jila, and where she spent most of her life living a traditional lifestyle.
Weaver primarily paints her country. In many of her paintings, she places a cross representing herself and symbolising that she and her country are one. The
painter and her land were inseparable, and it was in this spirit that she entered ‘Weaver Jack in Lungarung’, a self-portrait, in the Archibald Prize in 2006.
The work Lungarung, 2006 – 152 x 152 cm was a direct result from the 2006 emotional painting expedition back to Winpa country and depicts all of her
country, Lungarung, Winpa & more. It incorporates Weaver’s desert iconography of jilas (waterholes), walking tracks, talis (sand dunes), warla (mudflats) and trees. The blue cross with a line coming out of it and travelling to a waterhole, shows Weaver’s helicopter ride to Lungarung. The red cross is Weaver in another part of country. It may depict the main camp at Winpa where everyone stopped during this journey. This is the most likely explanation. Alternatively it depicts Weaver and her family from a long time ago and their place in country. Often Weaver would talk about the circles around the cross being her brothers and her language. It is painted in her coastal home’s vivid «saltwater colours» blue, green and purple, combined with the red and white of her traditional country’s desert and salt lakes. Complex, sophisticated and disturbing, it constitutes a fresh and unique representation of a culturally significant site and mythology.