Athena Granites Nangala

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Seven Sisters Dreaming – Story

In Aboriginal cultures across Australia and other cultures around the world, the Pleiades constellation is associated with the story of the Seven Sisters. Athena Granites paints her ancestral version of the story.

She depicts the story of the seven ancestral Napaljarri sisters who are found in the night sky today in the cluster of seven stars in the constellation Taurus, more commonly known as the Pleiades. The Pleiades are seven women of the Napaljarri skin group and are often depicted in paintings of this Jukurrpa carrying the Jampijinpa man ‘wardilyka’ (the bush turkey [Ardeotis australias]) who is in love with the Napaljarri-warnu and who represents the Orion’s Belt cluster of stars. Jukurra-jukurra, the morning star, is a Jakamarra man who is also in love with the seven Napaljarri sisters and is often shown chasing them across the night sky. In a final attempt to escape from the Jakamarra. The sisters ultimately escaped into the sky, where they became stars.

DOB: 1994
BORN: Alice Springs, NT

Athena Granites

Athena Nangala Granites was born in 1994 in Alice Springs Hospital, the closest hospital to Yuendumu, a remote Aboriginal community 290 km from Alice Springs in the Northern Territory of Australia. She has lived most of her life in Yuendumu, attending the local school and graduating from Senior Girls Upper School in 2009. Since leaving school she has gained work experience working in the office at Mt Theo, a program that provides comprehensive training in youth development and leadership. She has also married Sebastian Jupurrurla Wilson and they have one son, “little Henry Peterson Wilson”. Athena enjoys being Mum to little Henry.

Although young, Athena comes from a long line of artists. She is the daughter of Geraldine Napangardi Granites and the granddaughter of Alma Nungarrayi Granites, a well-known artist who paints with Warlukurlangu Artists. She is also the great-granddaughter of Paddy Japaljarri Sims (Deceased) one of the founding artists of Warlukurlangu Artists. Athena has been painting with Warlukurlangu Artists Corporation, an Aboriginal-owned and governed art centre located in Yuendumu, since 2010. She paints Jukurrpa from her father’s side (Ngapa Jukurrpa – Water Dreaming) and her mother’s side (Ngalyipi Jukurrpa – Snake Vine Dreaming and Yanjirlpirri Jukurrpa – Seven Sisters Dreaming), stories which relate directly to her land, its features and the plants and animals that inhabit it. Athena uses an unrestricted palette to develop a modern interpretation of her traditional culture. When Athena is not painting and when the rain comes and it is cooler she likes to go hunting with her family for Honey Ants, Bush Banana, Goanna and Kangaroo.

“I learnt to paint by watching my mother, my sisters and my grandmother paint.”


2019 Artist Workshop, Paspalis Centerpoint, Darwin

Selected Solo Exhibitions:

2021 Across the Night | Stories of the Stars, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
2019 Athena’s Seven Sisters – A celestial display of the Seven Sisters Dreaming by Athena Nangala Granites, Art Mob, Hobart

Selected Group Exhibitions

2022 Connection, National Museum of Australia, Canberra
2022 Tanami Today, Art Mob, Hobart
2022 Top 20 2022, Art Mob, Hobart
2022 Out Bush: Warlu 2022, Flinders Lane Gallery, Melbourne
2021 Across the Top 2021, Art Mob, Hobart
2021 The Seven Sisters and the Night Sky, Art Mob, Hobart
2021 Top 20 2021, Art Mob, Hobart
2020 Murdie Leads the Pack, Art Mob, Hobart
2020 Top 20 Exhibition, Art Mob, Hobart
2020 Warlukurlangu Artists: New Works from Community, Flinders Lane Gallery, Melbourne
2019 Seven Sisters, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
2019 The Children of the Warlpiri, Art Mob, Hobart
2019 Infinite – An Exploration of Deep Time and Space, Hearth Galleries, Healesville
2019 Women in Colour, Cooee Gallery, Sydney
2019 International Women’s Day, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
2019 Fire Country – Warlukurlangu Artists, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle, WA
2018 My Country, Salt, Queenscliff, VIC
2018 Land and Sky – Warlpiri Artists, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle, WA
2018 Desert Mob, Araluen Centre, Alice Springs
2015 Yuendumu Jukurrpa, Woolloongabba Art Gallery, Woolloongabba

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