The light-coloured dots show atoms arranged in the regular crystal structure of the quartz. Quartz is the major component of quartzite, sandstone, granite and much of the sand in Central Australia and on many of our beaches. The dramatic sandstone and quartzite peaks and gorges of Central Australia have this structure at their heart.

The area in this image is 25 nanometres wide and would fit across a 1mm wide grain of sand 40,000 times (1 nanometre is one millionth of a millimetre)

Image: Hongwei Liu

This Dreaming is located west of Alice Springs, between Papunya and Glen Helen Gorge. This Dreaming is from the ‘ngalyarrpa’ (sandhill) country. It tells a story from the life of Nampijinpa’s maternal grandfather, Japaljarri. Japaljarri was employed to ride alone on horseback through the sandhill country and look for ‘puluku’ (bullocks, cows) to put in yards. The job took him to many places between Nyirripi, a Warlpiri community approximately 160 km west of Yuendumu, and Coniston, a cattle station east of Yuendumu.
The trip also took him through Wakulpa, an outstation to the north of Yuendumu that is situated at the base of some ‘pirli’ (hills).
In Warlpiri paintings, traditional iconography is used to represent the Jukurrpa and other elements. In this painting, the sinuous lines from the upper right to lower left represent the ‘ngalyarrpa’ (sandhills). The sinuous lines
from the upper left to lower right represent the tracks of various animals, including ‘nantuwu’ (horses) and ‘puluku’ (bullocks, cows). The dots enclosed within these lines show the cows trapped in the yards.

Artist: Vanessa Nampijinpa Brown, Warlukurlangu Artists of Yuendumu