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Wartunuma (Flying Ants)



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  • Details

    Alternative title
    Watanuma (Flying Ants Dreaming)
    Place where the work was made
    Central and Western Desert Northern Territory Australia
    Cultural origin
    Anmatyerr/Warlpiri/Arrente, Papunya, Central Desert region
    Media category
    Materials used
    synthetic polymer paint on canvas
    160.0 x 180.0 cm
    Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program by Katherine and Christopher Goodnow in memory of Professor Jacqueline Goodnow AC 2015
    20th-century galleries (lower level 1)
    Accession number
    © Estate of Kaapa Tjampitjinpa. Licensed by Aboriginal Artists Agency Ltd
    Artist information
    Kaapa Tjampitjinpa

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Kaapa Mbitjana Tjampitjimpa was born and raised along with his cousins Tim Leura Tjapaltjarri and Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri at Napperby Station, north-west of Mparntwe (Alice Springs), where he worked primarily as a stockman until moving to the settlement of Papunya in the late 1950s. Tjampitjinpa was the principal artist of the painting of the Papunya School murals and became the first chairman of the Papunya Tula Artists Cooperative in 1972

    'Watanuma (Flying Ants Dreaming)' depicts the airborne travels of an elderly man, relating to the Flying Ant. He travelled from the far east through to Anmatyerr lands and then on to Warlpiri country. The man landed upon solid ground for the last time west of Yuendumu, 400 kms north west of Alice Springs, his land travels created creeks before retreating to a cave as his final resting place.

    The flying ant is the winged stage of the termite, commonly viewed as a destructive force. However 'Watanuma (Flying Ants Dreaming)' acknowledges the important role the insects play in the ecology of country.

  • Places

    Where the work was made

    Central and Western Desert

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 1 exhibition

Other works by Kaapa Tjampitjinpa