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Jila Kujarra | Two Snakes Dreaming

Mariaan Pugh & Desmond Taylor

Jila Kujarra: Two Snakes Dreaming is an exciting cross-cultural collaboration between Warnman artist Desmond Taylor and Boorloo-based textiles practitioner Mariaan Pugh. Borne from Taylor’s desire to see his artworks reimagined through a textile medium, this exhibition is a contemporary crafting of ancestral stories deeply rooted in Warnman Ngurra (Country).

This dynamic collaboration continues the practice of cultural and creative exchange, driven by Taylor and other Martu artists with the support of Martumili Artists, sharing narratives and understandings of the world from the Great Sandy, Little Sandy and Gibson deserts with national and international audiences.

Since their first meeting in 2019, Taylor and Pugh have been working together to transform Taylor’s Niminjarra Jukurrpa (Dreaming) paintings into highly tactile textile works, animating culturally significant narratives of Country, culture and custodianship in unexpected ways.

While these newly conceived pictorial iterations of Niminjarra Jukurrpa speak to intersections of culture and practice, they are also reflective of the courageous and dynamic approaches First Nations artists are taking to see their cultures manifested in new ways. These projects increase reach and audience globally and result in meaningful economic opportunity for artists and their communities.

MARIAAN PUGH / Textile Artist
Mariaan Pugh was born in the United Kingdom in 1993, but has spent much of her life in WA. Mariaan undertook her formal arts training, majoring in Textiles, at Curtin University as well as further training in Fashion and Textile Design at North Metropolitan TAFE. Drawn to vivid colour, playful motifs, and seductive tactile surfaces, Mariaan’s work subverts traditional textile techniques such as rug making, embroidery, and weaving, creating works that defy categorisation, sitting between textile and painting, while exploring themes of interpersonal relationships, longing and distance.

DESMOND TAYLOR / Artist + Custodian
Manyjilyjarra and Warnman Languages, Martu Peoples
Desmond Taylor is Manyjilyjarra and Warnman man, who was born in 1964 near the Oakover River, moving to Jigalong soon after. Desmond’s family were among the last Martu to live entirely in the desert without access to rations or western supplies. Desmond went to school in Nullagine and Perth and now works as a professional translator and educator, as well as maintaining an arts practice. Desmond primarily paints his family’s ngurra (Country) around Karlamilyi (Rudall River) and the creation narratives for that Country, especially the Ngayartakujarra Jukurrpa (Dreaming) stories, and the associated narratives of the Jila Kujarra, narratives as enduring as the continent we live upon, kept safe by Warnman people for us all to share.

visit FOUND at Fremantle Arts Centre

Open 9am–5pm, 7 days


1 Finnerty Street
Western Australia