nganampa arts: tjungurrinytjaku kutju
Our Art – Coming Together As One
A featured story from the April 2019 Desart Radar Newsletter.
As part of the Papunya Men’s Art and Cultural Revival Movement, the men of Papunya Tjupi Arts created a new body of work that they exhibited in their on-site gallery in Papunya. The body of work was developed over three men’s camps between October 2018 and February 2019. The story as told together by Aaron Kingsley, Elwin Ward,
Carbiene McDonald & Bob Dixon:
‘In the old time, our old people stayed out on their country, camping by the waterholes, their sacred dreaming places. They looked after story by drawing in the sand, singing
and dancing. That’s where canvas paintings came from, those stories drawn in the sand.
The old people asked us to look after these places, these stories.
On those camps we had, us fellas – old fellas and young fellas – went out together to talk and paint our stories. We camped out at Al Keepi (an outstation and waterhole
West of Papunya).
Each of us painted our grandfathers’ dreaming story, the story of their sacred places, now our places to look after. Us men, we follow our fathers’ and our grandfathers’ foot
On this camp we passed on those stories to our sons and grandsons so they can keep looking after those stories, and look after themselves by painting. All of us together
painted an old car, each of those circles we painted represent each of our grandfathers’ waterhole dreaming places.
Those waterholes were important for our old people, by painting them, sharing story and camping there we pass on culture and look after those places. In February, we had
a big exhibition and invited people to come see these paintings at our Art Centre in Papunya, the place of Tjupi (honey ant) dreaming.’