Janet Long Nakamarra
Janet Long Nakamarra was born in 1960 at Anninie in the traditional land of her people, Warntaparri, northwest of Alice Springs NT.
She lived a traditional life with her family and her Aunts May and Molly Napurulla showing her how to paint the traditional body paint designs for her Warntaparri Dreaming.
Through hard work and study, Janet gained the status of Linguist with her people and began to teach as a literacy worker at the Willowra School and produced bi-lingual literature for use in the teaching program. Although she has lived all her life in Willowra her linguist talents led her to many contacts with the rest of Australia. When Vivien Johnson began to write her book “Aboriginal Artists of the Western Desert” it was Janet she approached to do the transaction and correct any terms that were in the book.
In 1989 she began to paint her designs and Dreamings on small boards when the local store at Willowra began supplying canvas and paints to the locals Aboriginal Artists. When her brother Malcolm Jagamarra saw her taking an interest in painting he taught her how to use the medium of acrylics on canvas. She saw this as a way of teaching people about her culture and the world as a whole.
She uses her deep knowledge of her talents as a linguist and translates her Dreamings onto canvas in a way that no other artist is able to achieve. Her paintings have many small details in them that tell a story as a whole. The story that she writes for the paintings is as fascinating as the painting itself. These stories tell of the mythology and religion of her people in a way that any outsider can understand and learn from.
- Central Desert