Papunya Tula Artists Company
In September 1971 the Papunya School Painters Co-operative was set up with three directors: Fred Friis (Principal), Geoffrey Lawson (Deputy Principal) and Geoffrey Bardon, with Obed Raggett acting as translator and negotiator. The co-operative was absorbed into the Papunya Council in 1972.
In June 1972 the name Papunya Tula was born and became a living idea at a gathering at Charley Creek in Alice Springs. Bardon, who was with Charlie Wartuma Tjungurrayi, Mick Namarari Tjapaltjarri and Tim Leura Tjapaltjarri, recalled asking the painters what they wanted to call the company. Wartuma blurted out, as if he'd known all his life, "Papunya Tula". His suggestion was strongly supported by Tim Leura and Namarari because Papunya Tula 'refers specifically to the smaller of two hills not far from Papunya, a Honey Ant Dreaming site shared equally by all traditional groups in Central Australia and the Western Desert'. (Geoffrey Bardon)
On 16 November 1972, Papunya Tula Artists was incorporated as a company of limited liability with eleven original shareholders. Kaapa Tjampitjinpa was appointed as its first chairman.
Namarari depicts the Bandicoot Dreaming at the site of Marakutju, a hill north of the Walungurru community. Here the ancestral bandicoot made a shelter by scraping at the ground, pulling all the spinifex grass into a nest with his claws and forming a type of roof with the grass. He then stretched out on his back with his limbs splayed. The work is emblematic of place and also embodies the movements of the bandicoot in constructing the shelter. It is identical in scale and subject to the artist’s major prize-winning entry in the 1991 National Aboriginal Art Award. The work reveals Namarari’s use of increasingly reduced visual motifs, which enable him to reach a conceptual distillation of elements that intersect when he thinks of particular places in his country.