Australian c. 1927–2006
language group: Gija
Garnkeny (moon man) 1993
earth pigments and natural binder on canvas
Gift of Jim Cousins AO and Libby Cousins through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program, 2018
Hector Jandany was the oldest member of the Warmun artists at the time of his passing in 2006. His father was a Mirriwoong man from Newry who was killed in a confrontation with Gadiya (white people), and his mother a Gija woman who belonged to Ngarrgoorroon Country, north of Purnululu (the Bungle Bungles). This painting tells the story of forbidden love, portraying the dreaming place for Garnkeny on Springvale Station, south-west of Turkey Creek. In the Ngarrangkarni (Dreaming/s), Garnkeny the moon man falls in love with a woman of his mother-in-law’s skin but is forbidden from marrying her. He sulks and leaves angrily, walking some way before he sits down and turns into a hill. He curses his people, wishing death upon them all, but he will return to his dreaming place every month as the moon.