Collagraph & Screenprint
Image size: 53 x 78cm Paper size:53 x 78cm Hanhemuhle
Djulpan – Seven Sisters
“Our father Munggurrawuy painted the story of Djulpan. This story is about seven sisters who went out in their canoe called Djulpan. During certain seasons they used to go hunting for food and always come back with different types of food. As you can see they would come back with turtle, fish ,freshwater snakes and also bush foods like yams and berries. They can now be seen in the sky of a night , seven stars that come out together like they are shown on the painting.
The stars come in season when the food and berries come out, the stars will travel through the sky during that month until the season is over and they don’t come out until the next season. They are the constellation called Plaiedes and they are being chased by three brothers (Orion). They sail over the Northern horizon and when they get home they light their fires. “
Yolngu see a certain cloud shape that lets them know that it is alright to set the seasonal cleansing fires. These sisters (Plaiedes) hold the authority to light fires in their world first. Any early fires cause them to cry in unseasonal torrential downpours which put those unauthorised fires out. Historically, major fires/dust storms/volcanic smoke from Irian Jaya/Indonesia have probably signalled to Yolngu that there is land to the North where the Djulpan sisters have their home.
In this collagraph Nyapanyapa’s initial marks were made with a scaled up version of a marwat- a fine brush made from straight hair bound to a wooden stick with cotton thread. In this case Print Space worker Bitharr Maymuru fashioned a large brush and substituted torn strips of rag. After this three dimensional background or ‘collage’ was used to print the base design a screenprint was created using an actual marwat and overprinted.