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.