I paint the colours of the Ningaloo Sea Country

I paint the colours of the Ningaloo Sea Country

'thurnda-nmayi nguri nyinggulu thanardi ngarrari ngatha'

The Designs I Create

We are colourful people, the Payungu. I see colours, textures and designs all around me. I see the blue waters which are green, the sand that is a golden yellow, the brown muddy waters that blend in red. And I see the colours that have no name, that are a combination of water, sky and earth.

Every stone, rock, animal, emotion, they all have their own unique design.

Combining Design and Colour, it all comes together as Art. But it is not to be put on a wall and admired, it should be used and worn and shared everyday. That is what gives me the greatest pleasure, seeing someone wearing my ‘Art’ which they then take back to their own country. Sharing the memories and emotions they have experienced here.

Bullara - bunurrba

• ‘Bunurrba’ is the hollow where the nose (nyinggulu) meets the lips (yilburr) as pertaining to the Exmouth Gulf.

Waroora - warrura

Warrura’ is the name of the top end of Lake McLeod.

Marilla - marrilla

‘Marrilla’ is the red sand dune country where the creeks of the ranges drain into.

Gnaraloo - ngarrulhu

‘Ngarrulhu’ is the name of the strip of land between the ‘Thanardi’ (ocean) and the big salt lake (Lake McLeod)

Cardabia - gunjayindiya

Gunjayindiya’ means ‘to walk across the salt lake to the sea’.

Giralia - jarralya

Jarralya’ means ‘muddy country’.

Meet the Artist

Rachael Cooyou

I am a ‘Payungu’ Elder and have 6 children and 13 grandchildren.

My traditional Payungu country is located along the Ningaloo Reef coast and inland along the Minilya and Lyndon Rivers north-east of the town of Carnarvon, Western Australia. I was taught by my Maternal Grandmother to sew on an old Singer treadle sewing machine at Minilya Station when I was about 9 years of age. Excelling in my own type of art and paintings throughout my educational years, I continued to paint for many years. I have had the vision of turning my artwork into printed fabric for a long time, to make what I like to call ‘wearable art’.

“Through my eyes, I see the land and waters of my country as layers with a myriad of vibrant colours that are ready to explode.”


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