Mabel Wakarta (c1929-2019)

Mabel was born in the 1920s at Yirajarra, which is near Juntu Juntu Well 30 on the Canning Stock Route. Her parents were both Warnman people whose country encompassed Tarl, Nayijara and Juntu Juntu. Mabel grew up in the pujiman (bush) way until, in a run of very bad seasons, her parents, her brother and her sister all passed away. Following that terrible time, Mabel and some other family members walked through Karlamilyi (Rudall River), Talawana and into Jigalong Mission. Mabel was an adult when she arrived at Jigalong and went to work cooking, washing and cleaning houses. She worked for many years on Roy Hill, Ethel Creek and Bonney Downs Stations as well as several stations to the south of Martu country. Mabel was married to Wakarta but he passed away in Jigalong a long time ago. Mabel painted her ngurra (home) and her warrarn (country) to teach the young so that they could learn to paint too. When Mabel first started painting she was living in Irrungadji Community in Nullagine with Lily Long and Amy French. As a result, the subject of many of her paintings is Irrungadji.