The First Story



Archetypal Conversation

Collection Comments


Archetypal Narrative


An Archetypal Journey

"Birds : Anima"

"Mandorla : Great Mother" 

"Yantra : Archetypal Geometry"


jungian metaphoric archetypes


Mandala Painting from 'Prayers from the Western Desert' collection 1998 Ada Andy Napaltjarri

Mandala: "As I have said, Mandala means circle. There are innumerable variants of the motif, but they are all based on squaring the circle. Their basic motif is the premonition of a centre of personality, a kind of central point within the psyche, to which everything is related, by which everything is arranged, and which is itself a source of energy. The energy of the central point is manifested in the almost irresistible compulsion and urge to become what one is, just as every organism is driven to assume the form that is characteristic of its nature, no matter what the circumstances. This centre is not felt or thought of as the ego but, if one may so express it, as the self. Although the centre is represented by an innermost point, it is surrounded by a periphery containing everything that belongs to the self - the paired opposites that make up the total personality. This totality comprises consciousness first of all, then the personal unconscious, and finally an indefinitely large segment of the collective unconscious whose archetypes are common to all mankind." (Carl Jung C.W.Cf.9.1 p357)




Women's Dancing boards from carved Mulga' Ada Andy Napaltjarri'

Mandorla motif in the Karrinyarra Artists Story
Since my first contact with Ada she has been a wood carver. Her dad was a gifted carver as were many of the old life style Yuppa (aboriginals). Their wooded tools were the simple totally self sufficient materialism of their Hunter Gatherer life style.

Woomera, Spear, Boomerang for the men and Coolaman / Dancing Boards & Digging Stick for the women were enough material possessions for their 30.000 year life style.

Add to this Hair String and Stone Knives and we are presented with material cultural values contrasting extraordinarily with all of the STUFF we need for our contemporary life.

I find there is a wonderful mandorla metaphor constantly repeated in these wooden essentials.
A mandorla shape appears in the woomera, shield, shovel headed spear tip, coolaman and dancing boards.
Being a fiber artist craftsman, I have always worked with Ada teaching me her cultural carving processes.

And in the doing, I have been washed by a cultural memory from the creation time. Kinesthetically I have engaged a morphic memory of simple tool making and transformed my inner sensitivity or my mytho -poetic perception.
I attribute much of my inner landscape revelation and consciousness to the interest I have to practice the art of making first world crafts.

The Mandorla is spoken of as a middle way from which opposites paradoxes can be heard and responded to. i.e. we can understand both the dark and the light the Feminine and the Masculine and activate the middle way or the dance of the Tao.

The crafts and the paintings of the Karrinyarra Family hold for today streams of knowledge from the collective

In their practice and presence they can be imbuing our life with archetypal content from a deep well that has always nourished the human spirit.

It is in this light that we wish to endow their art work as a central place in our contemporary culture.


Great Mother

The femine principal, the yang, the dark moist, the moon - these metaphors embrace a primary opposite to the Masculine principal.

I have chosen to speak up the femine principal in the Karrinyarra Artist story for it's the women's art that comprises a majority of the body of this collection.

Their art holds their 'Grandmothers Story'

i see that on an archetypal visual arts level the men and women's stories both contain similiar motifs and capacity to hold meaning and story and here we can recognise the enormous capacity an archetypal motif has to transend opposits and actually carry 'the one' a single unity of of collective memory

In this modern age of 2012 we can search for primary stories from our roots. Who of us are keepers of grandmothers story?

Thus it is with poetic lisence that I speak the Grandmother's Creation Story , yet really its an asexual single story a visual arts creation story before the parodoxial split of opposites.

I have also spoken up nameing this story from the most evolved aspect of the femine proncipal the 'Sophia' or Crone principal

Again with a poetic lisence to amplify the enduring nourishing and sustaining principal of the feminine, for in our culture all my life journey has sort to compensate for the dominant exploitive and ultimatly unbalanced unrelenting progression of modern materialism on our world.

This feminine principal I embue or project a capacity to rectify the suiscidal projection of material domination and harmonise sustainalble nourishing qualityise into our moder material myth.


Anima: The anima (the female soul) of a man is also his fate, an eternal pattern that is mirrored in every mother, wife and lover. "It belongs to him, this perilous image of Women; she stands for the loyalty which in the interests of life he must forgo; she is the much needed compensation for the risks, struggles and sacrifices that all end in disappointment; she is the solace for all the bitterness in life. And, at the same time, she is the great illusionist, the seductress, who draws him into life with her Maya.... Because she is his greatest danger, and if he has it in him, she will receive it." (Carl Jung C.W.9, II, para24.)



For many years as a weaver I explored a circle as part of my most primary kinesthetic process building spirals and circles as I wove the Lawyercane baskets. As an artist I recognized primary geometric archetypes were held in the circle the square and the triangle.

My interest in the metaphoric was to attributr the circle with attributes of the femine principal and her highest revelation in the Sophia, divine wisdom, the Holy Spirit - mother, source and womb - light and intellegence that is the very ground of the soul.


Myth / Story

The old gods are dead or dying and people everywhere are searching, asking: what is the new mythology to be, the mythology of this unified earth as one harmonious being? Joseph Campbell


At the end of the day all we can carry is story.

As a cultural artrist our work is to take the enduring soul stories and reiterate them in contemporary idiom




Process of art

Art is the expression and communication of man’s deepest instincts and emotions, reconciled and integrated with his social experience and cultural heritage.
While the framework of laws governments and empires decay and disintegrate, the social attitudes and values that the art of a people record; remain vivid and eloquent for all time.
R Murkerjee ”The Social Function of Art”