fig. 1 
Johnny Warangula Tjupurrula on a visit to Tjikarri in 1979. His body is smeared with red ochre, which Warangula and his countrymen had mined at Karrku two days previously.

Johnny Warangula Tjupurrula (fig. 1) came into national focus in 1997 when his Water Dreaming at Kalipinypa, 1972, created a record for the sale at auction of a work by an Aboriginal artist.1See M. Ceresa, ‘Master Painter Will Settle for a Toyota’, Weekend Australian, 5–6 July 1997, p. 5. There are a number of variant spellings of the artist’s name, the most common of these being Warangkula. In this article I have used the spelling that most accurately reflects the pronunciation: Warangula. In June 2000 the painting was resold to a private collector for an even greater sum, comparable with the highest prices brought by the works of any recent Australian artist. At that time Warangula was portrayed in the media as a hapless victim of the voracious art market.2See G. Maslen, ‘Fame, but No Fortune for Pioneer of Aboriginal Dot Paintings’, Age, 10 June 2000, p. 13. There was little attempt to identify the particular qualities that had contributed to his creation of the Water Dreaming, which was acclaimed as a masterpiece. This article will consider these qualities in the context of the paintings by Warangula in the collection of the National Gallery of Victoria and will show that there are specific formal elements linking the paintings of Warangula and those of two Australian landscape artists widely acknowledged as among the greatest painters of their generation: Fred Williams and John Olsen. 

Johnny Warangula Tjupurrula was a Western Desert man, whose passion for his country found form in his roles as a law man, storyteller and painter. He was a rainmaker. His principal ancestral site was Kalipinypa, an impressive soakage (well) in sandhill country some four hundred kilometres west of Alice Springs. According to Warangula it was Winpa the Lightning Boss who sang up a huge storm from Kalipinypa. Dark clouds formed, thunder cracked, hail pelted down and torrential rain scoured the earth. Winpa sang and stamped out the verses that Warangula learned as a young man. Winpa propelled the storm eastward, creating a series of waterholes, which now mark the path of his songline.3For discussion of this concept, named and given broad currency by Bruce Chatwin in his 1987 book The Songlines, see F. R. Myers, Pintupi Country, Pintupi Self: Sentiment, Place and Politics among Western Desert Aborigines, Smithsonian Series in Ethnographic Inquiry, Canberra, 1986, pp. 47–70. Warangula’s passion for life and his artistic brilliance stem directly from his ancestor, Winpa, and from his creation of that storm. The artist’s paintings of the Kalipinypa Storm Dreaming, however, have a significance that goes beyond the dunefields of the Western Desert.4Warangula’s paintings of Kalipinypa are variously described as ‘Storm Dreaming’, ‘Water Dreaming’ or ‘Rain Dreaming’, as ‘Bush Tucker Story’ or even as ‘Lightning Boss’. In some instances one aspect of the storm, or its aftermath, is privileged. The titles of certain works reflect this emphasis; however, in other cases, titles can be traced to the idiosyncrasies of particular art advisers. For consistency, this article refers to the Storm Dreaming throughout. 

In 1971 Warangula was one of a group of senior men at Papunya, a small outback settlement some 250 kilometres north-east of Alice Springs, who began painting on composition board, signalling the beginning of the Papunya Tula art movement.5V. Johnson, ‘Seeing Is Believing: A Brief History of Papunya Tula Artists, 1971–2000’, in Papunya Tula: Genesis and Genius (exh. cat.), eds H. Perkins & H. Fink, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2000, pp. 187–97, examines the genesis of the painting movement at Papunya, and the emergence of the Papunya Tula Artists organisation. His personal and poetic style was forged in the extraordinary burst of artistic creativity that marked the first years of painting at Papunya. Thirty years later, what is broadly referred to as Western Desert painting is arguably considered the most important movement in Australia’s art history, profoundly affecting the way that the land is seen. The work of the Western Desert artists has revealed, for many of us, cultural and, biological vitality in what has often been described as ‘Australia’s Dead Heart’. However, the individual qualities of particular Papunya artists have for the most part remained veiled by the powerful narrative of the emergence of their compelling indigenous art form. Discussion of the work of artists such as Johnny Warangula, Mick Namarari, Clifford Possum, Shorty Lungkata, Uta Uta, Kaapa and Tim Leura has largely focused on the relationship of their art to their culture, the market and contemporary political structures.6For a rare monograph on one of the early Papunya artists, see V. Johnson, The Art of Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri, Sydney, 1994. While it is true that these painters played crucial roles in the formulation of the visual systems of Western Desert art, their individual and very distinctive creative achievements are also worthy of consideration. The work of each of these artists can be appreciated for its astounding diversity in spatial organisation, stylisation and mark making: the same visual qualities that distinguish great paintings from any culture. 

Johnny Warangula took the iconographic elements available to him through his inherited rights to country and reconfigured them as personal statements. Most notable is the iconography associated with the Storm Dreaming at Kalipinypa; the lexicon includes sinuous lines and short, percussive bars. Warangula took these, and elements associated with a constellation of other sites in his country, and forged his individual poetic style. Even in his most finely detailed works, the energy of his hand is evident – with its confident, sinuous strokes and with the varied pressure that animates every dotted gesture. Within months of taking up the brush at Papunya, Warangula had discovered the plastic qualities of the painting medium and had begun to establish an analogy between the dotted field – traditionally associated with ceremonial decorations – and the depiction of vegetation in the desert landscape. The use of dots to describe vegetation was a metaphor that would sustain him throughout his artistic career. 

This metaphor is now widely appreciated in desert art, so much so that visitors to Central Australia often see the desert landscape through the lens of ‘dot painting’, but it was not always so. In the first years of Papunya painting it was Warangula who most fully explored a dotted field to represent his country. Subsequently many other artists have used a similar approach to describe their own country.7One example, Emily Kame Kngwarreye’s After Rain, 1990, in the National Gallery of Victoria’s collection, is a painting with powerful representational and thematic relationships to Warangula’s works (see M. Neale (ed.), Emily Kame Kngwarreye: Alhalkere – Paintings from Utopia (exh. cat.), Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, 1998, cat. no. 36, repr. p. 86). 

The National Gallery of Victoria has a powerful group of early works by Johnny Warangula that trace his evolution as an artist. Water Dreaming at Kalipinypa, 1971, was in the first consignment of paintings to leave Papunya for the Stuart Art Centre in Alice Springs (fig. 2). The painting is bound by the symmetry that is characteristic of Luritja and of Wailpiri cultural expression; it was created before the artist found his own voice. This depiction of the Storm Dreaming is comprised of two discrete components: bold linear elements – somewhat awkwardly inscribed – and white-dotted infill. This very early work is an application of traditional ceremonial techniques onto board, rather than a highly developed painting. 

A year later in A bush tucker story, 1972, the artist laid down a formalised linear structure; then, over a period of three months, used the dotting motif to create a field of shimmering veils (fig. 3).8Judith Ryan, acquisition report, 1987, National Gallery of Victoria files. In this work the surface is built up in layers of dots: some follow the concentric circles and the references to ceremonial objects, reinforcing an underlying structure; some create independent sinuous patterns; while others jostle for a position – just as a plant must find a place to grow. Warangula has been propelled by the visual potential of his new medium. 

Take the dots away from A bush tucker story and you have similar iconographic bones to those of the earlier painting, but here Warangula has worked up the surface into a more potent statement. For as well as literally referring to bush fruits that emerged from the ground after the deluge at Kalipinypa, the shimmering visual qualities make manifest the deeper levels of meaning of the Storm Dreaming. The visual brilliancy of the work equates directly with the power of the ancestral site. This quality of brilliancy is a dominant aesthetic driver behind Western Desert painting and it has particular significance in rainmaking ceremonies.9See P. Sutton, ‘Responding to Aboriginal Art’, in Dreamings: The Art of Aboriginal Australia (exh. cat.), ed. P. Sutton, Asia Society Galleries, New York, 1988, p. 55. Happily it is a quality that has cross-cultural appeal. 

Warangula painted the storm at Kalipinypa, the great epic motif of his life, continuously throughout his career, constantly improvising – in both iconography and dotted infill – in his vivid depictions of the creation and passing of the storm. He is at his most poetic in A bush tucker story, where he evokes the explosion of ephemeral growth that follows the flood. It was Warangula’s continued and inspired recreations of Kalipinypa and the ecological cycle which gave us one of the most powerful meditations on place ever encountered in Australia’s art history. His representations have particular significance to an environmentally engaged community that has since become aware of the profound climatic effects on the Australian continent of the El Niño and La Niña cycles. But his oeuvre is not limited to depictions of the storm at Kalipinypa. His responsibility for country extended from Kampurarpa, near the Ehrenberg Ranges, where he made his first contact with European people in 1930, to Yipa at the edge of the great salt lake of Wilkinkarra, some 250 kilometres to the north-east. 

Warangula’s impressive 1975 painting of the ancestral events at Kampurarpa marks a seminal moment both for his stylistic development and for the Papunya Tula movement as a whole (fig. 4).10In 1980 Vivien and Tim Johnson recovered the painting from the Alice Springs office of Papunya Tula Artists, where it had been stuffed under a sink in a back room, and several Papunya artists came over to see the work. This may have been how the painting received its previous identification as a depiction of the artists’ site Tjikarri (Vivien Johnson, discussions with the author, 2001). In 1990, on the basis of discussions I had had with the artist while I was art adviser at Papunya Tula (1977–79), I identified the iconographic elements of the painting as referring to Kampurarpa. The Papunya artists had been working on relatively small boards when this, one of the first canvases, was painted. The change in medium (synthetic polymer paint on stretched cotton canvas) made possible a change in scale and attack for the artists. Kampurarpa is a large work, 168.5 x 330.6 cm, more architectural than domestic in scale. Works of this size, in contemporary media, demanded attention in the marketplace. They were ‘works of art’, and could not be easily discounted as ‘tribal artefacts’. 

In Kampurarpa, Warangula has established the field with a grid defined by eighteen sets of concentric circles, some of which were painted directly into a wet canvas. Next he has responded to the surface with large positive gestures: bold black lines course through the grid in arcs and radical switchbacks. These lines most likely represent the ngalyipi (coarse fibre) woven by a group of ancestral women who are assembled around two campsites at the bottom left of the painting. A distance away, towards the top right of the painting, is an old man held in the spell of the fibre woven by the women. He has whistled to them several times but the women cannot hear him. Believing that they are shunning him because of his ugliness he eventually picks himself up and trudges off to the west. Below, at the bottom right, two other women are camped: a coolamon and digging stick define their gender. It is worth noting that the symbolic elements representing the key actors are pushed to the edge of the painting; the size of the canvas has allowed Warangula to model spatial relationships in a big country – as in a map. The stretched pictorial space that he has created in Kampurarpa is not dissimilar to that used by Fred Williams in his Australian Landscape series of the late 1960s. 

While many of Warangula’s Kalipinypa paintings evoke a land that has been renewed by flood, Kampurarpa shows a more typical experience of the desert, exposed and hot. Warangula used broad washes of colour on unprimed canvas to establish a mosaic of soil and vegetation. The earth is emphasised by an uncharacteristic raw orange.11There was greater experimentation with colour during the period 1973–75, when botanist Peter Fannin was art adviser at Papunya Tula. This experimentation was later curtailed by the artists’ commitment to using what they called ‘proper Aboriginal colours’: red ochre, yellow ochre, black and white. To a more limited extent the shift can be linked to the influence of art advisers, such as the author, trying to ensure that the paintings retained their authentic palette and found a market in a period of low demand. For an entertaining but overdramatic interpretation of the role of art advisers with respect to Aboriginal painting, ‘see E. Michaels, ‘Bad Aboriginal Art’, Art & Text, no. 28, March–May 1988, pp. 59–73. The artist’s dots are more openly spaced than in his earlier paintings, each dot a unique mark whose form varies with the viscosity of the paint, the pressure of the gesture and the rapidity of the stroke. Unlike many Papunya artists of this period, Warangula does not try to regulate or formalise his mark making. In Kampurarpa there is an urgency that comes out of the challenge of the new format; working at large scale, Warangula shows a supreme gestural confidence that marks him out from his peers at Papunya. He is also distinguished by the way he uses line and percussive dot to create images that can alternately be read as depictions of ancestral events and as landscapes that, in spatial terms, are representational rather than conceptualised. 

Warangula clearly engaged with painting as a creative act in its own right, in a way that can be compared with the approach of the abstract expressionists in the modern European and American tradition. In the mid 1970s paintings of the scale of Kampurarpa invited comparisons with the large colour-field paintings that were being exhibited at leading commercial venues such as Realities in Melbourne.12 I first saw Papunya works in the travelling Peter Stuyvesant collection in 1976. I was struck by Malalparra, c.1975 (now Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth), a large painting by Billy Stockman that bore a strong resemblance to contemporaneous colour-field paintings by David Aspden. While being intrigued by the flatness and austerity of the works in the exhibition, I was also (naively) irate, believing that ‘someone’ was teaching Aborigines to paint in the same (modernist) way that I had been taught at art school. In 1977 Realities became the first commercial gallery in Australia to exhibit Papunya Tula artists. 

Warangula’s mature works are comparable, however, with the greatest Australian landscapes of the twentieth century, and a formal comparison can be made with the work of his celebrated contemporaries Fred Williams and John Olsen, from Australia’s eastern seaboard. 

The flatness of the Australian landscape was central to Warangula’s consciousness; he grew up in an environment of occasional rocky outcrops within a sea of parallel sand dunes. The extraordinary flatness of the continent also struck Fred Williams powerfully when he visited Tibooburra in western New South Wales in 1967. He wrote: ‘The trip has been fascinating – it rather convinces me that there is something very similar running through the Aust. Landscape (any landscape) so much so that I may drop the regional titles from all paintings’.13Fred Williams, diary, 9 November 1967, cited in J. Mollison, A Singular Vision: The Art of Fred Williams, Canberra, 1989, p. 133. 

In 1969 Williams anticipated in clear terms the insistent aerial perspective of Western Desert painting: 

One side of the hill is the same as the other – particularly from 1 mile up in the air … When we went to ‘Tib’ I claimed it was just the same [as any other landscape] (but with the skin taken off).14Williams, diary, 30 March 1969, cited in Mollison, p. 133. 

Of course Williams was exaggerating ‘sameness’ for effect here, for what distinguishes him from lesser Australian landscape painters is his close observation of the most subtle differences in both topography and vegetation. In January of the same year he had written that he considered the value of cartography as an effective cross-cultural strategy: ‘I suppose the most “universal” picture is a map? – it’s worth thinking about’.15Williams, diary, 24 January 1969, cited in Mollison, p. 133. 

It is not surprising that Williams’s later works appear to converge with an Aboriginal conceptualisation of the land (fig. 5). Many of his finest paintings do not have a horizon. The picture plane in his spare Pilbara series is primarily flat and in some of the paintings the chromatic intensity almost burns the retina with its evocation of the heat reflected off the land. Comparisons with Warangula’s Kampurarpa are unavoidable. Some of Williams’s earlier paintings also reveal subtle similarities with Warangula’s oeuvre. In the Upwey and Lysterfield series, Williams uses impasto gestures to evoke cryptic variations of native vegetation, in a way that anticipates the dense mosaics of vegetation types created by Warangula a decade later. While coming from profoundly different painting traditions, both artists use the manipulation of tension between densely packed and more relaxed dots and dabs to create a restless picture plane in which the eye moves constantly from incident to incident. Both Warangula and Williams are painters’ painters. 

But in his passion for seeking out pictorial qualities to express his love of his country, Warangula perhaps shares even more with John Olsen. In contrast to Williams’s more formal compositional structures, Olsen’s gestural energy fills the canvas. Typically his paintings stretch to occupy a flattened picture plane, without horizon: like that of Warangula, Olsen’s painting speaks of being in, rather than just looking at, the landscape.16See A. Sayers, Drawing in Australia: Drawings, Water-Colours, Pastels and Collages from the 1770s to the 1980s, Canberra, 1989, p. 238. After discovering contemporary abstract expressionist painting in Europe, in the early 1960s Olsen created his first great series, taking its title, Journey into You Beaut country, from the popular vernacular (fig. 6).17 J. Olsen, Drawn from Life, Sydney, 1997, p. 114. The series is an excited songline in praise of the particular roughness of the Australian landscape, and is full of intoxicated subjectivity. Like Warangula, Olsen, working within a flat picture plane, inscribes the narrative directly into the landscape. The wildly meandering line of John Olsen can at one time trace a landform, then suddenly twist to describe a figure. In 1972 Warangula completed several paintings with a similar restless energy.18See G. Bardon, Papunya Tula Art of the Western Desert, Melbourne, 1991, pp. 54–60. His figures representing creative ancestors are likewise enmeshed in a landscape of vigorously applied paint. 

The exceptional rains of 1973–74 led to the inundation of much of Central Australia, bringing the work of these artists even closer together. For Warangula ‘the rainmaker’, the floods must have had particular spiritual significance; his paintings of the period show exceptional confidence and freedom.19Dick Kimber, a perceptive observer of both the Papunya Tula movement and the ecological conditions in Central Australia, spoke of the effect that the 1973–74 rains had on Warangula’s work. Kimber attributed Warangula’s response in part to the encouragement that he received from art adviser Peter Fannin (Dick Kimber, discussions with the author, c.1978). In his depictions of Kalipinypa, the tracks of Kalawa the Egret ancestor become more dominant and the dots that represent vegetation almost explode out of the red ochre ground. In 1974 Olsen travelled inland to Lake Eyre with naturalist Vincent Serventy. They arrived to find the lake full and ‘three times the size of Sydney Harbour’.20Olsen, p. 114. The descriptions of the world that Olsen experienced could well be used as annotations for Warangula’s Kalipinypa paintings inspired by the same floods: ‘[T]here are further thousands and thousands of living things: frogs, dragonflies, fish, water beetles – it goes on and on. And then there are all the wildflowers in bloom’.21ibid., p. 115. Olsen was also struck by the phenomenon of the flood, and its abundance, as a spiritual signifier: ‘Life is burgeoning everywhere within and around this. The Void has put forth’.22ibid., p. 114. 

As a result of this journey, Olsen became aware of the great ecological cycles that are intrinsic to Warangula’s work.23As well as the Kalipinypa Storm Dreaming paintings, Warangula painted numerous depictions of men hunting marla hare wallabies with fire at Tjikarri. (for example, the National Gallery of Victoria’s Nintaka and the Mala Men, 1973). These works depict the anthropogenic mosaic of vegetation types of different ages created by regular controlled burning. Occasionally Warangula also painted versions of Lunkata the Blue-Tongue Lizard and a wildfire that regenerated the country. For Nintaka and the Mala Men, see J. Ryan, Mythscapes: Aboriginal Art of the Desert, from the National Gallery of Victoria (exh. cat.), National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 1989, p. 43, repr. He witnessed the explosion of life from the earth and the appearance, as if from nowhere, of a myriad of wading birds. Olsen’s and Warangula’s paintings of the period bring to Australian art images of a dynamic nature that for earlier generations of artists had been too mercurial for capture. 

Papunya Tula painting emerged in the early 1970s in a burst of energy and brilliance and in virtual isolation from the other centres of Australian art. Since then the Papunya Tula painters and their followers from remote Aboriginal communities across arid Australia have had a profound impact on the way many Australians now perceive their cultural and physical landscape. Johnny Warangula Tjupurrula’s paintings have a special significance, even within this major movement, for it was he who most actively explored the capacity of Western Desert iconography to describe the desert landscape in poetic terms – terms that communicate across cultures. Warangula’s intensely personal depictions of his country speak of the great ecological cycles that drive life on our continent. He, like the other great landscape painters of his generation, describes a dynamic land that is essentially flat, but brimming with latent life and energy. 

John Kean, Producer, Museum Victoria (in 2001).

Notes 

1     See M. Ceresa, ‘Master Painter Will Settle for a Toyota’, Weekend Australian, 5–6 July 1997, p. 5. There are a number of variant spellings of the artist’s name, the most common of these being Warangkula. In this article I have used the spelling that most accurately reflects the pronunciation: Warangula

2     See G. Maslen, ‘Fame, but No Fortune for Pioneer of Aboriginal Dot Paintings’, Age, 10 June 2000, p. 13. 

3     For discussion of this concept, named and given broad currency by Bruce Chatwin in his 1987 book The Songlines, see F. R. Myers, Pintupi Country, Pintupi Self: Sentiment, Place and Politics among Western Desert Aborigines, Smithsonian Series in Ethnographic Inquiry, Canberra, 1986, pp. 47–70. 

4     Warangula’s paintings of Kalipinypa are variously described as ‘Storm Dreaming’, ‘Water Dreaming’ or ‘Rain Dreaming’, as ‘Bush tucker story’ or even as ‘Lightning Boss’. In some instances one aspect of the storm, or its aftermath, is privileged. The titles of certain works reflect this emphasis; however, in other cases, titles can be traced to the idiosyncrasies of particular art advisers. For consistency, this article refers to the Storm Dreaming throughout. 

5     V. Johnson, ‘Seeing Is Believing: A Brief History of Papunya Tula Artists, 1971–2000’, in Papunya Tula: Genesis and Genius (exh. cat.), eds H. Perkins & H. Fink, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2000, pp. 187–97, examines the genesis of the painting movement at Papunya, and the emergence of the Papunya Tula Artists organisation. 

6     For a rare monograph on one of the early Papunya artists, see V. Johnson, The Art of Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri, Sydney, 1994. 

7     One example, Emily Kame Kngwarreye’s After Rain, 1990, in the National Gallery of Victoria’s collection, is a painting with powerful representational and thematic relationships to Warangula’s works (see M. Neale (ed.), Emily Kame Kngwarreye: Alhalkere – Paintings from Utopia (exh. cat.), Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, 1998, cat. no. 36, repr. p. 86). 

8     Judith Ryan, acquisition report, 1987, National Gallery of Victoria files. 

9     See P. Sutton, ‘Responding to Aboriginal Art’, in Dreamings: The Art of Aboriginal Australia (exh. cat.), ed. P. Sutton, Asia Society Galleries, New York, 1988, p. 55. 

10     In 1980 Vivien and Tim Johnson recovered the painting from the Alice Springs office of Papunya Tula Artists, where it had been stuffed under a sink in a back room, and several Papunya artists came over to see the work. This may have been how the painting received its previous identification as a depiction of the artists’ site Tjikarri (Vivien Johnson, discussions with the author, 2001). In 1990, on the basis of discussions I had had with the artist while I was art adviser at Papunya Tula (1977–79), I identified the iconographic elements of the painting as referring to Kampurarpa. 

11     There was greater experimentation with colour during the period 1973–75, when botanist Peter Fannin was art adviser at Papunya Tula. This experimentation was later curtailed by the artists’ commitment to using what they called ‘proper Aboriginal colours’: red ochre, yellow ochre, black and white. To a more limited extent the shift can be linked to the influence of art advisers, such as the author, trying to ensure that the paintings retained their authentic palette and found a market in a period of low demand. For an entertaining but overdramatic interpretation of the role of art advisers with respect to Aboriginal painting, ‘see E. Michaels, ‘Bad Aboriginal Art’, Art & Text, no. 28, March–May 1988, pp. 59–73. 

12     I first saw Papunya works in the travelling Peter Stuyvesant collection in 1976. I was struck by Malalparra, c.1975 (now Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth), a large painting by Billy Stockman that bore a strong resemblance to contemporaneous colour-field paintings by David Aspden. While being intrigued by the flatness and austerity of the works in the exhibition, I was also (naively) irate, believing that ‘someone’ was teaching Aborigines to paint in the same (modernist) way that I had been taught at art school. 

13     Fred Williams, diary, 9 November 1967, cited in J. Mollison, A Singular Vision: The Art of Fred Williams, Canberra, 1989, p. 133. 

14     Williams, diary, 30 March 1969, cited in Mollison, p. 133. 

15     Williams, diary, 24 January 1969, cited in Mollison, p. 133. 

16     See A. Sayers, Drawing in Australia: Drawings, Water-Colours, Pastels and Collages from the 1770s to the 1980s, Canberra, 1989, p. 238. 

17     J. Olsen, Drawn from Life, Sydney, 1997, p. 114. 

18     See G. Bardon, Papunya Tula Art of the Western Desert, Melbourne, 1991, pp. 54–60. 

19     Dick Kimber, a perceptive observer of both the Papunya Tula movement and the ecological conditions in Central Australia, spoke of the effect that the 1973–74 rains had on Warangula’s work. Kimber attributed Warangula’s response in part to the encouragement that he received from art adviser Peter Fannin (Dick Kimber, discussions with the author, c.1978). 

20     Olsen, p. 114. 

21     ibid., p. 115. 

22     ibid., p. 114.

23     As well as the Kalipinypa Storm Dreaming paintings, Warangula painted numerous depictions of men hunting marla hare wallabies with fire at Tjikarri. (for example, the National Gallery of Victoria’s Nintaka and the Mala Men, 1973). These works depict the anthropogenic mosaic of vegetation types of different ages created by regular controlled burning. Occasionally Warangula also painted versions of Lunkata the Blue-Tongue Lizard and a wildfire that regenerated the country. For Nintaka and the Mala Men, see J. Ryan, Mythscapes: Aboriginal Art of the Desert, from the National Gallery of Victoria (exh. cat.), National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 1989, p. 43, repr.