Carlene Thompson Carlene’s Mamu – Spirit Figures, 2022 Ernabella Arts

Medium: Ceramic Stoneware Size: 24.5 x 19ø cm ID: #767C-22
Price: $1665

    About this artwork

    Carlene’s depiction of mamu has been told to her by her grandfather and grandmother. These mamu are the spirits of the ancestors who appear in the bush at night time.

    A mamu is a spirit which lives near waterholes. Mamu are usually depicted as bad spirits or monsters in traditional Pitjantjatjara stories, particularly those told to children by adults in order to scare them and thereby keep them close by and safe.

    Mamu can be dangerous especially for children, they are shape shifters and can appear like animals. Carlene’s mamu have scales, big fluffy ears, claws and a smile. When startled they make a growling sound like a nocturnal gecko called papangaurpa.

    About Carlene Thompson

    Mother's Country: Dalhousie, Northern Territory Father's Country: Kanpi Community, APY Lands Dreaming: Kayala Carlene was born Carlene De Rose, in Finke in 1950. She met her husband, Kunmanara (Kawaki) Thompson OAM, at De Rose Hill,and they were married there. Her late husband was a highly regarded senior Pitjantjatjara man who was a major figure in the Land Rights Movement. Carlene and her husband had one son, and five daughters, three of whom also work at Ernabella. Carlene started painting at Ernabella in 2007 and quickly developed a very individual style. In 2009 Carlene began to concentrate on ceramics. Her work is contemporary while being based on Country and the creation being of her family's country, the kalaya (emu). She is a strong participant in women's ceremony and is passing this knowledge down to her daughters. Carlene is on the Ernabella Arts board. She lives near Ernabella at the homeland Black Hill No. 2.