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Collection

Walter Tjampitjinpa

(Australia circa 1912 – 1981)

Language group
Pintupi, Western Desert region
Title
Men's journey
Place of origin
PapunyaNorthern TerritoryAustralia
Year
(1971)
Media category
Painting
Materials used
synthetic polymer paint on hardboard
Dimensions

38.0 x 23.0 cm board

Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Credit
Gift of Dr Colin and Mrs Elizabeth Laverty 2005
Accession number
61.2005
Location
Not on display
Further information

For many people, the painting of the Honey Ant mural on the Papunya Special School in 1971 signals the beginnings of the desert art movement. Walter Tjampitjinpa was a senior cultural figure in Papunya and was among the group of men who authorised the design for this mural. Tjampitjinpa then became a founding member of Papunya Tula Artists, the company incorporated in 1972 which has become the model of excellence for Aboriginal art centres throughout Australia.

'Men’s journey' 1971 is among the first works painted by Tjampitjinpa, and is a classic depiction of the Tingari ancestors and their extensive travels and actions across desert country. While the iconography used to represent the Tingari is widely known, the precise details of their actions remain the domain of initiated men. This style of painting has its basis in ground-paintings for ceremony made from red desert sand highlighted with white wamulu (bush cotton).