Nyunmiti Burton KUNGKARANGKALPA (SEVEN SISTERS SONGLINE)

25 August to 24 September

Artist Statement

I paint the Seven Sisters story. My focus in sharing and celebrating this story is the story of the older sister, her role and responsibilities. I am like the older sister, trying to use my knowledge and skills to create opportunities for the younger women who come after me.

Kungkarangkalpa (Seven Sisters Songline)

This is a Tjukurpa (Creation Story) about the constellations of Pleiades and Orion. The sisters are the constellation of Pleiades and the other star Orion is said to be the man Nyiru or Nyirunya. Nyiru is forever chasing the sisters known as the Kunkarunkara women as it is said he wants to marry the eldest sister. The seven sisters travel again and again from the sky to the earth to escape Nyiru’s unwanted attenton. They turn into their human form to escape Nyiru, but he always finds them and they flee back to the sky. As Nyiru is chasing the sisters he tries to catch them by using magic to turn into the most tempting kampurarpra (bush tomatoes) for the sisters to eat and the most beautiful ili (fig) tree for them to camp under. However, the sisters are too clever for Nyiru and outwit him as they are knowledgeable about his magic. They go hungry and run through the night rather than be caught by Nyiru. Every now and again one of the women fall victim to his ways. It is said that he eventually captures the youngest sister, but with the help of the oldest sister, she escapes back to her sisters who are waiting for her. Eventually the sisters fly back into the sky, reforming the constellation. 

The APY Art Centre Collective is a social enterprise made up of 11 Aboriginal owned and governed arts and culture organisatons from the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands. As a collective, these organisations work to increase income for Aboriginal artists and support the important work of art centres in APY communities. This artwork was made at the APY Art Centre Collective operated APY Studio in Adelaide, which provides APY artists with a satellite art centre for artists off ‘Country’. The APY Studio affords APY artists with income stability alongside culturally appropriate support to access healthcare and the opportunity to maintain vital cultural and community connections when in Adelaide.