Raymond Walters Japanangka
Raymond Walters Japanangka was born in Alice Springs in November 1975.
His grandfather’s country is Ngarleyekwerlang of Yuelumu (Mt Allan) and his grandmother’s country is Alhalkerre Atnangkerre (Boundary Bore) of Utopia. Ngarleyekwerlang is located 300km North West of Alice Springs. Boundary Bore is located 300km North East of Alice Springs. Both his grandparents come from the Anmatyerre language group. He also has extended family members from the Arrernte, Western Aranda, Alywarre, Warlpiri and Kaytetye language groups. As a boy Raymond spent most of his youth out bush with his family and extended family members or in town with his mother living in Mt Nancy. Mt Nancy is an Aboriginal town camp located on the fringes of Alice Springs. Raymond’s mother was born in a creek bed not far from the camp.
“Growing up in Mt Nancy brings back a lot of good memories being around family and friends, but it was also a time of struggle for my people, my family. There was a lot of alcohol related violence, public intoxication and as children we wandered the streets, sometimes too afraid to venture back home. Most kids grew up in broken homes, in a way people may think that would have been awful, in a way it was sometimes, not having your own room, your own bed, your own processions, love and comfort. I remember my aunty calling me one year during Christmas, she said she called me to say she loved me and was proud of me. I handed the phone over to my partner because I was so emotional about it all. I really couldn’t remember the last time anyone had ever said that to me, if anyone had ever said that to me.
That same aunty has been an inspiration to me throughout my upbringing, always kind and gentle with us kids, but also being there for us when we needed support and love. She even came to my first ever solo exhibition in Melbourne. We kids have witnessed and done a lot of things today I’m sure we regret. Silly kid’s stuff I guess. Although it sounds like I had a tough upbringing for which I did, we also had our culture, our elders who made sure we were taught about our cultural heritage, this was the balance in our lives. Our government was still taking away children from their families, I to spent time with non indigenous families, in foster care. I always wondered what was happening and why it was happening.
Raymond Walters Japanangka is involved in the Red Dust Role Models. Sabine Haider from Central Art says: " I have nothing but admiration for Raymond, as an artist and as a person. he shows courage and determination. His artistic talent speaks many different languages, a connection between his world and our world." Raymond will always have my support.
Important copyright notice
The Copyright of all images and documentation remains with Sabine Haider. The Australian Copyright Act protects all artists from unauthorised copying by giving control over original works of art to the artist by law. However depending on the use proposed, Sabine Haider from Central Art – Aboriginal Art Store can facilitate reproduction of works with the permission of the artist as we have developed close relationships over the years with many individual painters and craftspeople.
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