Geoffrey Bardon AM (1940–2003)

Geoffrey Bardon began working as an art teacher at Papunya Special School in 1971. Concerned that the school's curriculum, appearance and ethos seemed out of step with Aboriginal culture, Bardon attempted unsuccessfully to involve his class in painting a series of murals on the school walls. Thereupon Kaapa Tjampitjinpa, Long Jack Phillipus Tjakamarra, Billy Stockman Tjapaltjarri and others created the Honey Ant Mural, which inspired many senior men to ask Bardon for painting materials and eventually begin painting in the Men's Painting Room.

Convinced of the groundbreaking importance of what he was witnessing, Bardon made comprehensive photographic, moving film and written records of the artists and the paintings that they produced while he was at Papunya. From his primary research, Bardon wrote three books and made three films that initiated public interest in Western Desert art. In 1988 Bardon was awarded the Order of Australia Medal for his unique contribution to the Western Desert art movement.

Related images

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Tim Leura Tjapaltjarri
Anmatyerr c.1929–1984
Yam Spirit Dreaming 1972
synthetic polymer paint on composition board
70.0 x 54.0 cm
Private collection
© artists and their estates 2011, licensed by Aboriginal Artists Agency Limited and Papunya Tula Artists
ARTS002116
Geoffrey Bardon in front of the Honey Ant Mural, Papunya, August 1971
Photo: Robert Bardon
© artists and their estates 2011, licensed by Aboriginal Artists Agency Limited and Papunya Tula Artists Pty Ltd
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Charlie Wartuma Tjungurrayi
Pintupi c.1921–99
Old Man’s Dreaming at Mitukatjirri 1972
gouache on composition board
32.7 x 65.1 cm
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Gift of Mrs Douglas Carnegie OAM, 1988
(O.31-1988)
© artists and their estates 2011, licensed by Aboriginal Artists Agency Limited and Papunya Tula Artists
EXHI015398
Timmy Payungka Tjapangati
Pintupi c.1940-2000
Possum Dreaming for children 1972
synthetic polymer paint on composition board
60.0 x 50.0 cm
Private collection
© artists and their estates 2011, licensed by Aboriginal Artists Agency Limited and Papunya Tula Artists Pty Ltd
Ad101012
Tim Leura Tjapaltjarri
Anmatyerr c.1929–1984
Butterfly Dreaming 1972
synthetic polymer paint on composition board
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Private collection
© artists and their estates 2011, licensed by Aboriginal Artists Agency Limited and Papunya Tula Artists
EXHI015537
Johnny Warangkula Tjupurrula
Pintupi/Luritja c.1925-2001
Water Dreaming at Kalipinypa 1972
synthetic polymer paint on composition board
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John and Barbara Wilkerson, New York, USA
© artists and their estates 2011, licensed by Aboriginal Artists Agency Limited and Papunya Tula Artists Pty Ltd
Ad100922
Shorty Lungkata Tjungurrayi
Pintupi c.1920–87
Untitled 1972
synthetic polymer paint on composition board
67.7 x 46.0 cm
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased through the Art Foundation of Victoria with the assistance of ICI Australia Ltd, Fellow, 1988
(O.10-1988)
© artists and their estates 2011, licensed by Aboriginal Artists Agency Limited and Papunya Tula Artists

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