Important Aboriginal + Oceanic Art
14 October 2009

George Tjungurrayi

born c.1943

synthetic polymer paint on linen

183.0 x 244.0 cm

inscribed verso: artist's name and Papunya Tula Artists Pty Ltd cat. GT0401001

$60,000 - 80,000

Papunya Tula Artists Pty Ltd, Alice Springs
Private collection, Melbourne

This painting is accompanied by a certificate from Papunya Tula Artists, Alice Springs

Catalogue text

George Tjungurrayi is a senior Pintupi Law man and custodian for major mythological stories for his country. Born near Walawala close to Kiwirrkurra in Western Australia, he commenced painting for Papunya Tula Artists in 1976.

During the late 1990s, Tjungurrayi's work moved away from the classic Pintupi paintings of linked roundels, grids, lines and dots to become minimal in style and palette. Henceforth, his works embraced linear designs, the thickly applied paint of fine parallel lines was reminiscent of the distinctive Western Desert style of linear 'fluted' carving on shields and boomerangs.

This painting relates to the claypan of Kirrimalunya, north of Wilkinkarra (Lake Mackay) and the events that occurred at this site in mythological times. This story is about two Ngangkari (Aboriginal Healers) who were camped at this site. They took something from their stomachs and wiped it on their arms. They were only boys but this healing power had been given to them by the time they were ten years old. This mythology forms part of the Tingari Creation Cycle.