Full Name: Eunice Napanangka Jack
Eunice was born in 1940 at Lupul in the Sir Frederick Ranges. When Eunice was a little girl, and like so many other Aboriginal families at the time, shortages of food forced her family east towards the ration stations set up in central Australia. She remembers the travels with her family very vividly and refers to it as when her mother carried her piggyback all the way from Western Australia to Haasts Bluff.
Eunice is well known for her hunting skills, dancing, and traditional law knowledge. Eunice started painting with the opening of the Ikuntji Women’s Centre in August of 1992. Eunice’s paintings are interpretations of her country near Lake Mackay. She uses layers of colour to build up a vision of the bush flowers and grasses. Amongst this landscape, Eunice’s personal stories are told, either of the travelling of the tjukurrpa (the Bilby) or the people who once lived in the area. With a slew of highly collectable works, Eunice is represented in leading galleries worldwide.
Why did Eunice enter the FAC Print Award?
This is Eunice’s first time entering the award. As a painter, the recent creation of this print was a wonderful opportunity to showcase the new work.
What is the work about?
In this print, Eunice depicts her father’s Tjukurrpa (Dreaming). It shows the country at Kuruyultu, near Tjukurrla in Western Australia.
Eunice Napanangka Jack described the work, saying, “This is my country. I can’t remember how it all happened, because it happened before I was born. I have a scar on my back from it. My grandfather speared a wallaby at Kuruyultu. That night he ate that wallaby. At the same time my mother could feel me moving inside her. She was heavily pregnant with me. That next morning, after my grandfather had speared the wallaby, killed it and eaten it, I was born. I was born at Kuruyultu, near the rockhole there. I can’t remember my grandfather or my grandmother. I was still a little baby. We left that place, Kuruyultu. My father, my mother, my big sister and my father’s brother, we all left together and went to Haasts Bluff. I grew up in Haasts Bluff. I have been back to Kuruyultu for visits but I never lived there again in my country. I think about it every day. Only my father knows all the stories for that country and he painted them too… all the men’s stories. I know the story of the wallaby mother and daughter which left me with a birthmark. That’s what I paint: the wallaby mother and daughter.”
Where else can people see Eunice’s work? (other exhibitions, projects etc.)
Eunice continues to paint and work on projects with Ikuntji Artists Aboriginal Corporation. Stay up to date with her upcoming events and projects here.