DREAMTIME

This series of paintings was inspired by The Dreamtime or Dreaming in the Australian Aboriginal sense of the word.

Having said that, many of my paintings start in a dream and I do a lot of shamanic dreamwork with students!

 

 Shamanic teacher, painter and author in the UK and the world

Australian Aboriginal people believe that before the world came into existence, there was a mass of dark and formless matter, (what the Ngarinyin people call ngallalla yawun, 'everything soft like jelly'). The Spirit Ancestors lay deep beneath the surface of the shapeless, nameless world and came forth as Rainbow Serpent Women, Kangaroo Men, Sisters from the Sky, Bush Fig Men, Mulga Seed Women, and so forth. These Spirit Ancestors became the prototypes of all creatures alive today and established a line of descendants for the human, plant and animal worlds.

< LEFT - THE RAINBOW SERPENT 80 x 100 cm  £599

    > RIGHT - THE CARPET SNAKE  80 x 100 cm  £525

 Shamanic teacher, painter and author in the UK and the world

 

 Shamanic teacher, painter and author in the UK and the world

Shamanic teacher, painter and author in the UK and the world

 

 ALCHERINGA   

Creator Serpent, Mother of All That Is  SOLD

 ALCHIRANGA MITJINA   

The timeless dimension of dreams  SOLD

 BILLABONG  

Waterhole  (81 x 81 cm)  £399   Read more below...

 

... Billabong is the Australian Aboriginal word for a waterhole. It was believed that billabongs (as well as freshwater lagoons and coral reefs) were places where the spirits of unborn babies lived. These are also the places where the souls of the dead will return. Here I have painted the billabong as a labyrinths surrounded by totemic spirits standing guard. The labyrinth shape is because birth, death and rebirth are all part of life's great journey. (This painting appears in the LABYRINTHS & MAZES SERIES as well)

To emphasize the cyclical nature of this process this painting does not have a proper top or bottom. It can be rotated and viewed in four different positions!

Shamanic teacher, painter and author in the UK and the world

 All cultures have myths or religious beliefs about Creation a cosmology). In Australia it was believed that Ancestor Spirits formed, named and breathed life and language into all that exists in the known Universe. This is the touchstone of all Aboriginal culture and religious practice. This divine inheritance is known as The Law. It is continuously being re-enacted in ritual and ceremony. Aboriginal people recognise that they have a spark of their Spirit Ancestors within them and that give them an unbroken link to the Creation Epoch, The Dreamtime or The Dreaming. Every dawn is the Dawn of the Universe.

<  LEFT - AB OVO  80 x 100 cm  £485

SHAPE SHIFTING  80 x 100 cm - RIGHT  > £525

Shamanic teacher, painter and author in the UK and the world

 

 It is a shocking fact that it was only at the referendum of 27 May 1967 (my year of birth!) that Aboriginal residents of Australia were granted full legal status as Australian citizens. This is mind boggling when one considers that Aboriginal Australian peoples occupied the land for tens of thousands of years before white Europeans arrived on the scene. 

Traditional Aboriginal people were multilingual. Originally there were around 300 (possibly even 500) Aboriginal languages. Today these languages face the threat of extinction. Many languages are weakening and no longer spoken to or understood by the younger generation.

Following colonization successive white governments regarded the Aboriginal societies as uncivilised and brutal practises were committed. From widespread (I typed 'whitespread' - a Freudian slip!) massacres in some regions, to government policies of 'protection', where children were forcibly removed from their parents and relocated in orphanages, missions and foster homes. These children were then indoctrinated in the values of the dominant culture. A handful of these children - now known as 'The Stolen Generations' - have tracked down their parents, but thousands never returned to their homes. This has led to an incalculable loss; whole generations torn from their famiies and alienated from their own cultures.

Christian missionaries of various denominations played their role in this. They demanded that Aboriginal people drop their 'pagan beliefs' in favour of the Christian faith. Though harm was done, many Aboriginal people today have found a way of incorporating their understanding of Christianity into their Dreamtime cosmology in ways they experience as positive and complimentary. In some places it was accepted as 'Whitefella Dreaming': 'God must have made the Spirit Ancestors because he made everything'...

 

 

 

 

 COMMUNICATING 80 x 100 cm, £599

 DAUGHTER OF A RIVER  80 x 100 cm, £545

 IMBEROMBERA,, Grandmother Goddess, SOLD

 

This painting was inspired by being pregnant for the third time and attending playgrounds with my two toddlers. Many mums were pregnant and the unborn babies seemed to be communicating and become friends well before birth!

(Many of those unborn babies are still friends at secondary school, 13 year later!)

In shamanism we acknowledge non-human ancestors such as animals, trees the elements, or features in the landscape. This painting is about a woman whose mother is a river. 

In dreams I often shape shift and explore such states: I meet my Mountain Father, Great Forest Mother and am an Apprentice of the Wind...

 Imberombera is the Great Mother, the All Mother. Sometimes she is referred to as Grandmother, because for Australian Aboriginal people to call someone 'old' or 'grandfather' is a sign of great respect. (Not an insult or put-down, as it can be in our culture)...

(Read more just below)

 

... Imberombera had a great stomach in which she carried many children. She wore a headband with yams hanging from it. She also carried a digging-stick. As she walked the country, she planted yams and left spirit children (i.e. souls of babies waiting to be born) in waterholes. She told her spirit children where to live and what languages to speak. These spirit children were seen as the ancestors of the different tribes who came to inherit and inhabit the land

One interesting detail is that it was believed that the Rainbow Serpent could take on different guises. And that Imberombera was one of her guises. For that reason my painting is 'framed' by the Rainbow Serpent appearing along the edges of the canvass Another detail is that in the painting I have given Imberombera six fingers on both hands. It was believed that this was a sign of someone being 'not quite human', but an incarnation of the 'Divine'. It is interesting to note that this same idea appears in Mesoamerica. Gods are depicted with six fingers!

THE GULOI TREE OF LIFE  80 x 100 cm  £585

This painting was inspired by rock art made by the Ngarinyin people.  The so called 'Guloi' tree is a native plum tree.

The single footprint at the very bottom has ten toes. It symbolises the track of an individual ready to journey along the pathway of knowledge.

The foot is attached to the tree by several roots that symbolise family blood and family connections. Education comes from 'climbing the tree' and is represented by rings on the trunk. Rain descends from the sky onto the tree. This symbolises the arrival of monsoon rains, when lightning triggers the ripe fruit to swell and burst, then crack open and release new seed.

For the Ngarinyin people this is the Tree of Life that feeds everyone.

It symbolises the responsibility they have to new life, their duty to set young people on the right pathway to tradition and wisdom.

See also the Sacred Trees page:  SACRED TREES  (MAKE BUTTON!)

 TRIBUTE TO THE MIMI SPIRITS  (80 x 100 cm)  £545  > 

MiMi figures are small stick-like spirits. They are said to live in bush and rock crevices in Arnhem Land in the very North of Australia. They are regarded as great artists because they like painting their portraits in red ochre on rocks!

Mimi spirits are not Creator Beings, but they taught the ancestors of the present-day Gunwinggu tribe the art of painting.

Mimi spirits can be enchanting creatures, but one must realise they can be malevolent as well as benevolent.

As a painter I wished to create a tribute to the Mimi spirits for giving human beings the art of painting!

 

  <  JURTUS  (30.5 x 40.5 cm)   £195

Jurtus are tiny spirit children who descent to earth in raindrops, looking for a human mother. Similarly there are Wilmi: spirals of mist are seen as evidence of children to be born gliding along. People living on the coast believed that the spirits of unborn babies reside in shallow waters and coral reefs at low tide. There was a very general belief that spirits of children to be born resided in waterholes (see "Billabong").

>  SPIRT CHILD RIDING DREAM SERPENT    SOLD

 

 

<  NGALYOD GIVING BIRTH   (80 x 100 cm)   £565

The 'Daughters of the Rainbow Serpent' are similar to the sirens of European mythology.They inhabit rivers and creeks. They are lovely but lethal! However feminine and enchanting they may look, they are alien and dangerous creatures. Woe betides a man who falls in love with one! Like Homer's sirens they lure men to their death with songs that weave a spell.

>  SWALLOWING AND REGURGITATING

61 X 46 cm  £299


 

 We got married in 1996 and spent our honeymoon in Australia (and New Zealand). Near the Daintree River we met an Aboriginal medicine man who invited me to come and live with him the rain forest to study plant spirit medicine. This did not seem like the right course of action for a woman who had been married for less than a week. Sadly I declined. The dream to visit Australia again, with more life experience and greater awareness remains...