• Artist

    Mick Namerari Tjapaltjarri

  • Production Date


  • Medium

    acrylic on linen

  • Size

    913 x 615 mm

  • Credit

    Chartwell Collection, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, 1995

  • Accession Number


  • Accession Date

    May 1995

  • Department

    International Art

  • Classification


  • Collection


  • Subjects

    line, Aboriginal art, mythology, myths

  • Description

    Mick Namarari Tjapaltjarri is an Aboriginal artist of the Pintupi tribe from the Western Desert of central Australia who was part of the Papunya cultural renaissance. Papunya was a settlement established by the government 260 miles west of Alice Springs to facilitate the imposed assimilation of Australian desert people. For Aboriginal people trucked into Papunya, it meant severance from traditional lands and ceremonial sites in unfamiliar conditions which quickly went from bad to worse. In 1971 Geoff Bardon, an art teacher at the settlement nicknamed 'Mr Patterns', encouraged a group of senior tribesmen to paint two large murals of their Dreamings on school walls. The subject of one of these murals was the Honey Ant Dreaming, in acknowledgement of a local sacred site. This was the start of an amazing flowering of Aboriginal painting and an assertion of a 40,000-year-old cultural heritage of creation stories, sacred rites, land custodianship, spirituality and law. The Dreamings, which artists like Tjapaltjarri represent in their apparently 'abstract' art, are reiterations and celebrations of creation narratives which 'sing up the land' by recounting exploits of ancestral beings who travelled the land in the deep past. Though fully understood only by those initiated into Dreaming lore, these paintings refer to important Dreaming sites and events and the elemental presence of trees, rocks, hills and water. (from The Guide, 2001)

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