Koh Living has once again partnered with renowned Aboriginal artists to create unique art-inspired gifts, and July of this year saw the official release of the new SACRED COUNTRY collection.
In this new collection, generational wisdom and narratives are brought to life by four Aboriginal Women from Australia’s central desert region.
Each personal artwork shares a story of family, country and the significant spaces in which women gather together.
Artworks in the Sacred Country collection reflect the artist’s individual style whilst upholding traditional techniques. Playing with rich colour palettes and composition, these women have placed their own mark on moments of spiritual significance. It is this layering of old and new that appeals to contemporary audiences and their own modern living spaces. Discover the stories behind the Sacred Country Collection:
SEVEN SISTERS - Khatija Possum
The Dreamtime story of the Seven Sisters is retold in this beautiful illustration from artist Khatija Possum.
In the Dreamtime a group of seven Napaltjarri women were being pursued by a Jakamarra man called Jilbi. He had been sitting in a cave at irlkirdi practicing love magic by cutting off his long hair and weaving it by hand onto a wooden spindle, then performing songs and dances which people from far off could hear. Often, he would entice young women to come to his cave and live with him. Jakamarra men were very proud of their successes when they practiced this magic and spent much time boasting among themselves about their prowess.
The seven women had no intention of sleeping with the Jakamarra man and ran away from him, journeying a long way across the desert until they were too tired and hungry to go any further. They sat down at Uluru to search for honey ants, then when they saw Jilbi approaching went to a place called Kurlunyalimpa and changed themselves into seven fires.
With the help of spirits at Uluru, they went up into the sky to become stars. Ever since then they can be seen as a cluster of seven stars in the constellation Taurus, known as the Pleiades. Jilbi transformed himself into the Morning Star in Orion’s belt and continues to chase the Pleiades across the sky.
WOMEN'S DREAMING - Khatija Possum
The Women’s Dreaming paintings by Khatija Possum depicts Women’s ceremonial sites surrounding Tjukurla in the western desert of Central Australia – traditional homelands to the artist’s great grandmother. Ceremonial sites carry a deep spiritual meaning, and it is where the women narrate their sacred Aboriginal dreamtime stories, through song lines, dance cycles and body paint.
This painting has many secret and sacred landmarks and iconography but also includes the important fire, bush tucker and waterholes that are imperative to the women as the ceremonies can last for over a week.
BUSH MEDICINE – Annette Nungala
"This painting shows bush medicine after summer rain, and all the little dots represent stones and seeds. When rain time comes flowers grow again."
Bush Medicine is a subject Annette Nungala Peterson returns to repeatedly in her painting, knowledge of bush medicine is taken very seriously in Indigenous culture and is often held by women. The science of bush medicine involves relationships with the Country, family, and a healthy way of life inherited by ancestors.
EPENARRA - Pammy Foster
"When you go out bush you see all different flowers. You can pick them and smell them - some of them smell very nice."
Epenarra artist Pammy Foster uses bright colours to capture the landscape of the Davenport Ranges, Pammy builds textures with layers of paint, alluding to the rocky nature of the landscape, densely grouped green trees and flowering bushes cover the canvas suggesting the work shows the land in the rainy season.
Wutunugurra (Epenarra) is described by the Indigenous people as Hill Country, it is nestled in the foot of Iytwelepenty (the Davenport Ranges National Park). The area is home to the popular camping sites of Whistleduck Creek and Policeman Waterhole and a unique variety of birds, insects and bush medicine.
GRANDMOTHER'S COUNTRY - Michelle Possum
The Dreamings that Michelle Possum paints come from Yuelamu on her home country at Mt Allan. These include not only Grandmother’s Country but also the stories of Seven Sisters Dreaming, Bush Tucker stories including Seed Dreaming, Bush Coconut, Fire Dreaming, Goanna Dreaming, many of which she combines together in complex interwoven designs.
Mainly depicting the overview of maps of traditional Country from her family lands, Michelle describes the many important cultural sites she knows well. Her paintings have gained wide popularity partly due to the fact that as we come to understand the iconography, the paintings make fascinating narratives for a western audience. They are populated not only with plants and food resources and waterholes but also with people sitting in the landscape – men with hunting implements and women with digging sticks and coolamons.
WOMEN'S CEREMONY - Michelle Possum
In addition to sacred landmarks and iconography, Michelle's artwork includes important bush tucker and waterholes, making a meaningful connection to modern kitchens, the source of such provisions and this is evident in the paintings of Women’s Ceremony in particular.
Michelle Possum was born at Napperby Station, Northwest of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory. She was taught to paint by her father Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri. Clifford is the most renowned painter of the founding group of Papunya artists.
Michelle’s work has a strong connection to her father, family and land. Her paintings can incorporate strong figurative elements as well as important topography relating to her family's country, such as the abundance of food and water.
BROWSE THE FULL COLLECTION:
Click HERE to view the full Sacred Country including Candle Holders, Water Bottles, Tea Towels, Coasters, Journals, Mugs, Lamps, Glasses Cases and more.
MORE ABOUT OUR ARTISTS
To learn more about each of our featured Aboriginal Artists please visit our artist's page: https://kohliving.com.au/pages/about-our-artists
ETHICAL & SUSTAINABLE TRADING
Koh Living is an active member of the Indigenous Art Code and practices ethical trading of Aboriginal Art.
“Aboriginal Art is one of the best sources of economic development for Aboriginal people living in communities and it is a movement that keeps on growing” - Kathleen Buzzacott.