Kay Rubuntja (Willis Napurulla)

Kay Rubuntja (formally known as Willis Napurulla) is a Warlpiri woman who was born in 1969 at Willowra in the Northern Territory. A self-taught artist, Kay began painting in 1987, originally selling her works through the Jukurrpa Artists co-operative in Alice Springs. After the co-operative’s closure in 2004, Kay continued working as an independent artist in Alice Springs. Her works are intricate depictions of her homeland and, the important rock holes that are used by the Warlpiri people as a source of water. This piece depicts a women’s ceremony site. The rock hole is shown in the centre of the painting and radiating out. In her works, Kay shows the network of underground water using an abstract dotting style. Lines can be seen in her works where the dots come together to create this effect of underground water. This water has been mapped by Warlpiri people for millennia and the knowledge is passed from one generation to the next during ceremony. Ceremony may be held for many reasons, to celebrate coming of age or change of season indicating new plant growth for food and migrating animals coming to the area again.

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