Tjukurrtjanu TjukurrtjanuTjukurrtjanu: Origins of Western Desert Art

NGV NGVNGV: 150 years Museum VictoriaMuseum Victoria Papanya Tula ArtistsPapanya Tula Artists

  • An NGV Touring Exhibition
  • 30 September 2011 – 12 February 2012
  • The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia,
  • Federation Square, Melbourne
  •  
  • 9 October 2012 – 20 January 2013
  • Musée du quai Branly, Paris

Tjukurrtjanu: Origins of Western Desert Art examines a watershed moment in the history of art when a painting practice emerged at Papunya in Central Australia. Tjukurrtjanu gives prominence to 200 of the first paintings produced at Papunya between 1971 and 1972 and also establishes the vital connection between the works of art and their sources in ephemeral designs made for use in ceremony.

A collaboration between the NGV and Museum Victoria.
In partnership with Papunya Tula Artists Pty Ltd.

This website contains the names, images and works of Indigenous people who have passed away, which may cause distress to some Indigenous people.

Indigenous people from Central Australia and the Western Desert are advised that this exhibition contains culturally sensitive works that may be considered harmful or inappropriate for viewing by women or uninitiated members of their communities. Care has been taken to respect cultural protocols and, following a comprehensive consultation process, these works will be exhibited separately for the duration of the exhibition and will not be illustrated in the exhibition catalogue or displayed on this website.

Please note that some records contain terms and annotations that reflect the period in which the item was recorded, and may be considered inappropriate today in some circumstances.


The Honey Ant Mural, July 1971

Geoffrey Bardon and his Arerrnte assistant, Obed Raggett, had noticed people drawing designs in the sand at Papunya. Following this precedent, they drew circles and spirals on the blackboard in an unsuccessful attempt to encourage their class of adolescent boys to paint a series of murals on a whitewashed, cement-rendered wall of the Papunya Special School.

In late July 1971, after painting a series of smaller practice murals, seven painters collaborated in the painting of a monumental mural representing the Honey Ant Dreaming specific to the site of Papunya. Working under the direction of custodians Mick Wallangkarri Tjakamarra and Tom Onion Tjapangati, the artists included Kaapa Tjampitjinpa, Billy Stockman Tjapaltjarri, Long Jack Phillipus Tjakamarra, Johnny Warangkula Tjupurrula and Don Ellis Tjapanangka. The Honey Ant Mural, a bold expression of Aboriginal culture in a government settlement, occasioned great rejoicing at Papunya and inspired immense pride in the community.

Related images

ARTS002117
Honey Ant Mural, Papunya, 1971
Photo: Allan Scott
© artists and their estates 2011, licensed by Aboriginal Artists Agency Limited and Papunya Tula Artists Pty Ltd
Ad100992
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
EXHI015685
The Men's Painting Room, Papunya - Johnny Warangkula Tjupurrula can be seen in the middle ground painting a Kalinypa Water Dreaming. His two boomerangs are placed in front of the board as percussion instruments, ready to be used to accompany the verses of the Water Dreaming, sung at intervals during the painting process, June-August 1971
Photo: Michael Jensen
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
EXHI015193
Kaapa Tjampitjinpa
Anmatyerr/Warlpiri c.1925-89
Men’s Ceremony for the Kangaroo, Gulgardi 1971
watercolour on plywood
61.0 x 137.0 cm
Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs
Winner of the Caltex Art Award, 1971. Acquired by the Central Australian Art Society from the 1971 Caltex Art Award. Donated to the people of Alice Springs through the Alice Springs Town Council
© artists and their estates 2011, licensed by Aboriginal Artists Agency Limited and Papunya Tula Artists Pty Ltd
EXHI015391
Tim Leura Tjapaltjarri
Anmatyerr c.1929-1984
Travelling Honey Ant Dreaming - (Version 7) 1972
synthetic polymer paint on composition board
45.5 x 30.5 cm
Private collection, Melbourne
© artists and their estates 2011, licensed by Aboriginal Artists Agency Limited and Papunya Tula Artists Pty Ltd

Connections


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