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Contemporary art

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art

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Pinpirrnga, from the suite Tjukurrpa Palurukutu, Kutjupawana Palyantjanya - same stories, a new way



Kawayi Nampitjinpa


circa 1938 -

Language group

Pintupi, Western desert region


In addition to showcasing the quality of Papunya Tula Artists as a whole, this suite of etchings emphasises the strength of each individual artist as they successfully translate their Tjukurrpa to the new medium of printmaking. Far from being a mere copy of their paintings in a different scale and medium each artists adapts their visual language to this new process with apparent ease, resulting in bold, confident works that are extraordinary in themselves, and when combined as a suite, are truly amazing.

The art centre documentation for this work states:

This etching depicts the rockhole site of Pinpirrnga or Desert Bore. This site is surrounded by sandhills on one side and mulga trees on the other and is situated slightly north of the Kintore community. The story relating to the site concerns two ancestral women who had travelled from the east to the site of Pinpirrnga. The women had walked a long way and were very thirsty when they arrived at Pinpirrnga, only to find that there was no water. The women then sang the songs associated with the site and plunged their nulla nullas (digging sticks) into the ground, which created a large rockhole. The women later removed their nulla nullas from the ground and laid them down, where they then transformed into two smaller rockholes. While in the area the women gathered large quantities of the edible fruit known as pura (also known in Pintupi as pintalypa) or bush tomato, from the small shrub Solanum chippendalei. This fruit is the size of a small apricot, and after the seeds have been removed, can be stored for long periods by halving the fruit and skewering them onto a stick. The women also collected mangata (quandong), which is a traditional staple food much sought after throughout this region. The small circles in this work depict the pura and mangata collected by the women.


Place where the work was made

Papunya Northern Territory Australia



Media category


Materials used

colour aquatint on Hahnemühle rag paper




33.0 x 25.0 cm platemark; 55.0 x 45.0 cm sheet

Signature & date

Signed l.r. beneath platemark with artist's mark, pencil "X". Not dated.


Purchased with funds provided by the Aboriginal Collection Benefactors' Group 2011


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Kawayi Nampitjinpa

Works in the collection



Where the work was made