Mike Williams

Seven Sisters Tjukurpa #661

Acrylic on canvas
152 x 110 cm
(59.8 x 43.3 in)


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This painting depicts the Seven Sister story. This is a Tjukurpa Story (Creation Story) about the constellations of Pleiades and Orion. In this story the sisters are the constellation of Pleiades and the other star Orion is said to be Nyiru or Niyrunya (described as lusty or bad man).

Niyru is forever chasing the sisters known as the Kunkarunkara women because he wants to marry the eldest sister. The seven sisters travel again and again from the sky to the earth to escape Nyiru’s unwanted attention. They turn into their human form to escape from the persistent Nyiru, but he always finds them and they flee back to the sky. As he chases the sisters, Nyiru tries to catch them by using magic to turn into the most tempting kampurarpa (bush tomatoes) for the sisters to eat. He also changes in to the most beautiful Ili (fig) tree for them to camp under. 

However, the sisters are too clever for Nyiri and outwit him, as they are knowledgeable about his magic. They rather go hungry and run trough the night, then be caught by Nyiru. Every now and again one of the women falls victim to his ways. It is said that he eventually captures the youngest sister, but she escapes with help of the eldest sister and goes back to her other sisters. Eventually the sisters fly back into the sky to escape Nyiru, reforming the constellation.

In some cases the artist will secretly depict sexual elements as Nyiru is really only after one thing: sex.

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