Mary Dixon Nungarrayi

Mary Dixon Nungarrayi Born: 1958
Region: Yamunturrngu(Mt Liebig)
Alice Springs-Northern Territory
Language: Walpiri

Mary was born near Town Bore Creek east of Papunya.

Mary grew up in the area around Haast Bluff and regards that area as her country.

She later moved to Mt Liebig to be closer to Walpiri country.

Mary started painting in the mid 1980s for Papunya Tula Artists.

Her former husband Colin Dixon Tjapanangka is also a noted artist.

Mary paints the Milky Way and the origins of Pleiades (seven sisters dreaming), Witchetty Grub and Bush Plum dreamings.

The characteristic trademark of her paintings is lyrical pure drawing and bright primary colors in acrylic on canvas.

Dictionary of Aboriginal Artists biographies


The Bush Plum is a small black berry and is rich in vitamin C it is collected by the women of the Western Desert as part of their Bush Tucker.

The stars and the night sky are used by the Australian Aboriginals as ceremonial time pieces.

The Seven Sisters are the mythological sisters of the "Tjukurrpa" ( Dreaming) Today they can still be seen wandering across the skies at night as the Constellation Pleiades.

The Sisters were being pursued by a Jakamarra man (the Morning Star in Orion's belt).

In this picture the seven sisters are depicted as the small circular groups of stars Jakamarra was once a man who chased the sisters relentlessly, always seeking their favors.

In a final attempt to escape Jakamarra, the women turn into fire at Kurlunyalimpa and ascend to the heavens to become stars.

To this day when you look to the sky, Jakamarra is still in pursuit of the sisters.

This Dreaming is closely associated with men's secret sacred ceremonies.

Mary Dixon Nungarrayi is an artist of true style and produces excellent work of lasting value.

The song lines of the "Milky Way Dreaming" have traveled from the far northern reaches of Arnhem Land down across the continent, through Central Australia and beyond.

Due to the secret and sacred aspect of this dreaming no further information is available.

There are several similar but different dreaming stories related to the Seven Sisters and the constellation Pleiades.