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Paddy Japaljarri Sims

Fire Dreaming

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Fire Dreaming

Paddy Japaljarri Sims, 2004

Acrylic on Canvas, 42” x 36”

(Price Available on Request)

















Paddy Japaljarri Sim's vibrant mosiac dotting style, employed to outline and amplify the symbolic designs (or kuriwari) in his paintings as well as imply the topography of landscape, can best be described as beatific, expressing the resonant spiritual power of his Dreamtime ancestors which abides in the desert landscape today.This painting depicts groups of people burning off areas of spinifex country. The fires are lit so that Liwirringki (burrowing skinks) and other goannas are flushed out of their holes and hiding places. They may then more easily be caught for food.


The painting also depicts the scene of a ceremony in which the various groups involved are shown in their separate places according to the protocol of the ceremony. The kirda (owners of the Dreaming) are Japaljarri and Jungarrayi men and the kurdungurlu (ceremonial police) are Jampijinpa and Jupurrurla. The circular motifs represent water soakages and rock holes, the curvy lines represent warlu (fire). In the middle is depicted an old Japaljarri man with his ceremonial pole. The Jukurrpa comes from Panma, a soakage. 


Paddy Japaljarri Sims has an amazing personal story that was chronicled in the 2006 documentary, Singing the Milky Way. He was born into a traditional nomadic hunter-gatherer culture in depths of central Australian desert and did not encounter people from the outside world until he was in his early twenties. 


Despite having made art for ceremonial purposes all of his adult life, Paddy did not begin his fine art career until he was in his late 60's. His paintings are based on ceremonial art, designs which represent "Dreamings" or creation mythologies of which he was the custodian.





Questions about a painting? Contact us via email or phone at 401-617-5220



Opening Credit Sequence from the film Singing the Milky Way:



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