Mabel Juli Australian, Gija, b. c. 1933
Mabel Juli (bush name Wiringgoon) was born at Five Mile near Moola Boola Station (south of Warmun). She was taken as a baby to Springvale Station, her mother's country. She started work on the station as a little girl, and as a young woman moved to Bedford Downs Station and Bow River Station to work. Juli's mother is Mary Peters. Juli is one of seven children - six boys and one girl, Mabel. There are only three of the children alive today: Mabel, Rammel and Rusty. Rusty Peters is also an accomplished artist working at Jirrawun Arts in Wnydham. When Mabel was a young girl, she left Springvale Station to be with her promised husband. Together they moved to different cattle stations in the Kimberley, including Bow River and Bedford Downs. Mabel and her husband had six children. Mabel's husband passed away in 1982 when Mabel was 42. Mabel Juli is a senior Warmun artist. She is a strong Law and Culture woman and is an important ceremonial singer and dancer. Mabel started painting in the 1980s, at the same time as Warmun artists Queenie McKenzie and Madigan Thomas. The women used to watch Rover Thomas paint and one day he said to them, "You try yourself, you might make good painting yourself."; Mabel says "I started thinking about my country, I give it a try." Mabel is a dedicated, innovative artist who continues to work with natural earth pigments on canvas. She primarily paints the Ngarrankarni (dreaming) stories of her darrajayin (also spelt Tarrajayin), which is covered largely by Springvale Station.
Artist Statement 2004:
'I started painting when the old girl (Queenie McKenzie) was here - she was the one who taught me to paint. She told me; you try that painting; and I started to paint. I was doing that Karrngin (Moon Dreaming), that's the painting I started with because mother and father told me the Ngarrankarrni (Dreamtime) story. I was reminded of all those stories from my mum and dad - like Glingennayn Hill and the Old Woman Singing Out For Her Dog. Those came from my country. They used to take me out bush when I was a little girl - good size - and they told me all stories. And I always remember those stories. I got em in my brain.'
Artist Statement 2007:
I'm feeling pretty good. I like going to exhibitions, going to Sydney, feels good. I'm always busy. I finish the work, the painting, and go home. Go to Warmun Community council meetings, go to court (as an Elder). I got to make money to get tucker for my grandchildren. I still think about my Aunty (Queenie Mckenzie, who taught me to paint). when I do paintings, she tells me about stories.'