Collection Online
synthetic polymer paint on composition board
61.5 × 45.4 cm
Place/s of Execution
Papunya, Northern Territory
inscribed (diagonally) in chalk on reverse c.: 19090
Accession Number
Indigenous Art
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased through The Art Foundation of Victoria with the assistance of ICI Australia Ltd, Fellow, 1988
Gallery location
Gallery 14
Level 3, NGV Australia
Physical description
The concentric circles represent a waterhole in the interior of a cave. Cliff forms from a particular landscape region are indicated by the angular linear patterns. The subtle variations in dotting detail ritual ground designs on the cave floor and the way water drains in a very remote area of the artist’s country. The modified ceremonial objects on the right hand side are for general viewing.
Through the act of painting, Shorty Lungkata was also dancing and singing and embodying his spiritual identity in the land. The reiterative circles, compulsive stippling, rhythmical mark-making and linear patterning of his paintings on board suggest the kinetic dance movements and percussive rhythms of ceremony. This work represents a cleared ceremonial ground in the interior of a cave at an unnamed place. A rocky outcrop or escarpment is indicated by the layered angular designs which open out towards the left. The subtle variations in dotting and linear patterning evoke both ritual designs and the way water drains into this cave site.