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