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Cherylyn Napangardi Granites was born in 1983 in Alice Springs Hospital, the closest hospital to Yuendumu, a remote Aboriginal community located 290 km from Alice Springs in the Northern Territory of Australia. She has grown up most of her life in Yuendumu. First attending the local school in Yuendumu, and then Kormilda College, an Aboriginal boarding college in Darwin and finally attending the local Yuendumu High School to finish her schooling. Since leaving school she worked for several years, on and off, as a video and radio broadcaster for PAW Media and Communication, a remote Aboriginal media organization situated at Yuendumu. Chantelle has one daughter, Naomi, born in 2000.
Cherylyn has been painting with Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation, an Aboriginal owned and governed art centre located in Yuendumu, since 2005. Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation is located at the Yuendumu community 300km north-west of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory of Australia. Established in 1985, Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation is a fully Aboriginal owned and governed art centre with over 600 members. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the sale of all art works go directly back to the artists and their community projects.
The art centre is famous for its gloriously colourful acrylic paintings with many of its members work collectable having been featured in hundreds of exhibitions both in Australia and around the world. The art centre is both a stronghold of traditional Warlpiri culture and an essential part of Yuendumu’s community life.
Cherylyn paints the Yunkaranyi Jukurrpa (Honey Ant Dreaming), Mina Mina Jukurrpa (Country Dreaming) and Janynki Jukurrpa, stories about country close to Yuendumu. These stories have been passed down from her father’s side and his father’s side for millennia and relate directly to her land, its features and the plants and animals that inhabit it. “I like painting. I like to keep my culture strong. I watched my grandmother, my father’s mother, paint and now when I’m painting it makes me happy, it reminds me of her.”
When Cherylyn is not painting she keeps herself busy by cleaning the house and spending time with her family. “We all live close together”.