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MCA at the 2017 Venice Biennale

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Telling Tales: Mabel Juli

Born 1929, Barlinyin, Western Australia
Lives and works Warmun, Western Australia
Gija language group, Nyawurru skin group

Senior Gija woman Mabel Juli shows three large black ochre paintings that tell a story of forbidden love, represented by the moon and stars.
A narrative that resonates through history and across cultures, it tells of how society responds when someone loves the wrong person, and what the consequences are.
In the story, a young man rejects his betrothed bride and admits his love of her mother, a beautiful woman with long black hair who later transforms into a serpent called Dawool.
Driven out of his community, he climbs a hilltop and becomes Garnkiny (the moon), returning month after month for the rest of time. As he departs he angrily curses those who have denied him his true love: unlike him, he says, they will all eventually die, their bones bleaching for eternity in the desert.

<b>Mabel Juli</b> <i>Garnkiny doo Wardal</i>, 2016

Mabel Juli Garnkiny doo Wardal, 2016
Natural ochre and charcoal on canvas
150 × 150 cm