TWO SISTERS TALKING (Kaku-mara-pula yanhiranda) – Anpanuwa (Joyce Crombie) and Aulpunda (Jean Barr-Crombie)
Welcome to Our Country
Arru Wangkangurru / Yarluyandi Wadlhu
Anpanuwa Joyce and Aulpunda Jean bring Wangkangurru/Yarluyandi country alive in their art, painting a deep love of country from river to the desert. They see beauty in their traditional land, in sand and gibbers, the long horizon and star-freckled night, and bring it to life on canvas.
Joyce and Jean grew up close to the land, learning the knowledge of country through their Mum and Dad. As children, they watched and waited for the season when their favourite bush tucker would appear, then travelled with family to share and eat from the land.
Joyce, as a small child of five or six would go to the river and spend the day catching and cooking crabs. One night she came home complaining of feeling sick, and her mother asked if she had had a drink of water. But she didn't want to drink the river water because it was dirty, so sat by the river all day thirsty. She learnt to drink the river water after that.
Jean, as small child, to cool down in the heat of summer, would crawl into the cool bucket of clear water sitting in the kitchen that had been carried up for cooking and drinking. Surprising her mother and brothers and sisters when they came to get the clean water.
Both sisters came to art later in life. Joyce discovered her art in 2000 when stranded in floodwaters at Winton. She took up the brush and immediately fell in love with painting, then studied art in 2008. She then tried to convince younger sister Jean to take up art. But Jean who was called "Queen" by her mother, resisted, telling Joyce, "I cant paint" or "what if I make a mistake, or make something ugly." Joyce persisted, telling her to "just pick up a brush," which eventually Jean did and fell in love with painting, then exploring other mediums in her art.
Jean and Joyce's love of country is at the heart of their work, like song-lines through their art exposing the beauty of country to others. A beauty that can stay hidden behind a tough exterior, and needs to be seen through different eyes and deep listening, an ancient knowing, which two sisters dream into life through art.
Anpanuwa Joyce Crombie
The gentle directness of Joyce's art goes straight to the heart, beyond language and time. With a tender touch, Joyce reveals a vision of country with surprising glimpses of an ancient culture. For Joyce, the land is calling her to paint, evoking colours of earth and sky and wind. Her paintings catch the spirit of rock and tree speaking their dreamtime stories.
Joyce is from Wangkangurru/Yarluyandi country around Birdsville. One weekend in 2000, stranded at Winton in floodwater, she took up the brush and fell in love with painting the land.
Aulpunda Jean Barr-Crombie
Jean's art tracks her journey through country as she weaves the old stories with colours of the land in a unique spirit of discovery. She finds beauty in the gnarled tree, and love in the sand against bare feet, a love for country that brings colour and life to her paintings.
For Aulpunda (Jean), a Wangkangurru/Yarluyandi woman, the big questions inspire her work, who am I, and where to I belong? Questions she explores in her artistic journey.
Through deep listening to the spirit of the land, a spirit that beats in her blood, Jean comes to her art as learner and teacher, bearing the gifts of an ancient culture to share with family, children and grandchildren, and those not yet born.
The artworks below are original works by either Aulpunda (Jean Barr-Crombie) or Anpanuwa (Joyce Crombie) as indicated. Please click on the images to see the entire original painting.
SONGLINE OF TRAVEL
by Aulpunda (Jean Barr-Crombie) MESSAGE FROM TWO SISTERS TALKING
My name is Aulpunda Jean Barr Crombie. I am a traditional owner of the Wangkangurru / Yarluyandi country and I come from Birdsville Queensland. The painting tells the stories and songline of travel. It is with great knowledge and understanding that this story and songline has been passed on down from generation to generation and has a very strong connection by singing the country to body, mind and spirit when traveling. My painting shows that many people have used this way of travel knowing there are lots of places to camp, meet and share food and water.
The centre circle represent a ceremonial gathering camp. The blue with brown dots shows that the camp is near water. The lines that mark the way to the centre is the pathway going to and from the ceremonial gathering place. The outer circles are other camps and they also have permanent water. The small blue and brown dots are native wells. The small dots are the people of the country. The tracks are of many people who have travelled to and from the ceremonial gathering place leaving behind their foot prints of all shapes and sizes.
The book below is the first book by Two Sisters Talking. Please click on the image to see the cover in its entirity.
CHILDREN'S TALKING BOOK
As told and illustrated by:
Arluwa-kari wangka thimparda
'Two Sisters Talking' (Kaku-pula Wangka Thimpa-rda)
Anpanuwa (Joyce Crombie) and Aulpunda (Jean Barr-Crombie) MESSAGE FROM TWO SISTERS TALKING
This Children's Talking Book has been designed as a literacy tool for children who are beginners at school to encourage early learning in English and Aboriginal language. Fully illustrated alphabet book containing artwork and wording in both English and Aboriginal words.
Included is an audio CD of Two Sisters Talking to encourage the correct pronounciation in both the English and Wangkangurru language of the Mikirri (Well country, Simpson desert). We consider it to be our responsibility to share our Aboriginal knowledge and culture to leave a legacy for future generations to connect with country and preserve our cultural language
The prints below are poster prints created by Two Sisters Talking. Please click on any image to see the entire print.
BROLGAS IN THE CHANNEL COUNTRY
by Anpanuwa (Joyce Crombie)
Brolgas (purralka) are connected to country by dancing with a style that is dainty ad elegant. They are always seen in pairs or groups and are known to mate for life. This painting depicts the Channel Country after good, flooding rains. The brolgas are walking in the lignum (yatyalka a native scrub) among the yellow daisies and eating plant foods including wild onion (yalka).
by Anpanuwa (Joyce Crombie)
Wild tobacco (pituri) is a plant containing high levels of nicotine which grows in the arid, sandy country. Wild tobacco was chewed or smoked by Aboriginal people and used for medicinal purposes, usually as pain relief. Wild tobacco was highly prized and traded across a vast area. It was carried and traded in special bags made out of human hair, lucerne (verbine) and governmentissued blankets.
THE MEETING PLACE
by Aulpunda (Jean Barr-Crombie)
A meeting place (mapukari) was sacred for dance, trade and corraborree. Messages inviting neighboring tribes to come to the meeting place were sent via smoke signals or word of mouth. Meetings and celebrations at mapukari could last for weeks. The central circle in the painting depicts the meeting place, where celbrations began and dancing and trading occurred. The lines represent pathways to the meeting place, the smaller circles are camps on route to the main camp and the dots are people gathering.
WATERHOLES AND RIVERS
by Aulpunda (Jean Barr-Crombie)
The Dimantina runs and fills the channels and waterholes that become an important source of food, such as mussels, yabbies ad fish, for Aboriginal people both today and in traditional times. Lignum (yatyalka a native scrub) and coolibah trees grow along the river banks and channels. They provide shelter for water birds and other animals. Wild melon (urkardu) grows over the lignum and lucerne (verbine a native grass). In traditional times, fibres from these plants were used to make bags, nets, balls, household items and hunting utensils. The coolibah tree was also a valuable resource that Aboriginal people used to make multi-purpose vessels (puta also known as coolamon).