Jila Kujarra: Two Snakes Dreaming is an exciting cross-cultural collaboration between Warnman artist Desmond Taylor and Boorloo-based textiles practitioner Mariaan Pugh.
Taylor and Pugh have worked together to transform Taylor’s Niminjarra paintings, usually seen on canvas or paper, into highly tactile textile works, animating the important Niminjarra Jukurrpa (Dreaming).
“Niminjarra is the two brothers transforming into a snake so they can come back home to Ngayartakujarra (Lake Dora). They were in training for ceremony, those two brothers, but they were kept too long, and nobody was there to release them. They waited then they decided to transform into snakes to travel back to where they came from, because their mother was waiting for them. This is Jukurrpa (Dreaming story).”
— Desmond Taylor, 2019
This body of work is born of Taylor’s desire to see his artworks reimagined through a textile medium and is a contemporary crafting of important ancestral stories deeply rooted in Warnman Ngurra (Country).
The dynamic intercultural collaboration between Desmond Taylor and textiles practitioner and educator Mariaan Pugh continues the practice of cultural and creative exchange, driven by Taylor and other Martu artists through Martumili Artists, sharing narratives and understandings of the world from the Great Sandy, Little Sandy and Gibson deserts with national and international audiences.
Desmond was born in 1964 close to the bed of the Oakover River. Two years later his family moved into Jigalong – they were amongst the last Martu to live entirely in the desert without access to rations. Desmond went to school in Nullagine and Perth and now works as a professional translator and educator as well as an artist. Desmond primarily paints his family’s country around Karlamilyi (Rudall River) and the creation stories for that Country, especially the Ngayarta Kujarra Dreaming.
Born: UK, 1993
Mariaan holds a B.A in Textiles from Curtin University (2013) and an Advanced Diploma of Fashion & Textile Design from North Metropolitan TAFE (2016). Drawn to vivid colour, playful motifs, and seducing tactile surfaces, Mariaan’s work subverts traditional textile techniques such as rug making, embroidery, and weaving. Mariaan teaches fashion and textile design at North Metropolitan TAFE and The Children’s School of Contemporary Art.
An Interview with the Artists
The hour between 9–10am is quiet hour, and available on request. Individuals, groups and families with special needs wanting to experience our exhibitions in a more relaxed, unhurried environment can request access to the galleries before they open to the public. Please contact [email protected] or phone 08 9432 9555 for more information.
Fremantle Arts Centre is situated at Walyalup on Whadjuk Nyoongar Boodjar.
Fremantle Arts Centre is situated at Walyalup on Whadjuk Nyoongar Boodjar. We acknowledge the Whadjuk people as the traditional owners and custodians of these lands and waterways and extend our respect to their Elders, past and present.
We offer our heartfelt gratitude to the Whadjuk community and to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who continue to care for Country and share their knowledge – this generosity and wisdom helps us to understand and navigate Country safely and respectfully.