Johnny Japaljarri Brown-Possum



Johnny Japaljarri Brown-Possum has a “lot of connection with country” and is the brother of Clifford Japaljarri Possum (Dec), Paddy Japaljarri Stewart, and Ruth Napaljarri Stewart-Oldfield, all renowned artists nationally and internationally. He was born around Mount Allen, during the Second World War and frequently travelled between Yuendumu, Mt Wedge, Napperby Creek and Mt Dennison with his family. Johnny lives in Alice Springs but frequently visits Yuendumu, a remote Aboriginal community located 290 kms north-west of Alice Springs in the NT of Australia, to visit his brother, sister and extended family. He is married to Helen Nampijinpa Robertson, daughter of Shorty Jangala Robertson, both well-known artist who also paint with Warlukurlangu Artists. Johnny usually paints in Alice Springs but because he visits family often in Yuendumu he also paints with Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation, an Aboriginal owned and governed art centre located in Yuendumu. He has been painting with the art centre on and off since 1989. Johnny paints his Janganpa Jukurrpa (brush-tail Possum Dreaming) and with other Japljarri/Jungarrayi men is “kirda” or custodians of the Janganpa Jukurrpa. When Johnny‘s not painting he is travelling all over the world, as a traditional Warlpiri dancer, representing the Janganpa Possum dance group. The Janganpa Group are Warlpiri and Anmatyere people, now living in Alice Springs. Janganpa is the Warlpiri word for ‘possum’ an important totemic animal. As a member of the Janganpa Group Johnny has featured in numerous films, documentaries, television series and commercials.