Artist George Tjungurrayi
Title Untitled (Mamultjulkulnga)
Year 2021

Acrylic on Belgian linen

Dimensions 155 × 122 cm
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George Tjungurrayi

George Tjungurrayi is a senior Pintupi lawman and one of the most sought after Western Desert artists famous his topographical line work, developed with Kenny Williams Tjampitjinpa.

George was born in the desert in the vicinity of Kiwirrkura. He walked into Papunya with another young man along a freshly graded road, after living at Mukula west of Kiwirrkura.  He commenced painting for Papunya Tula Artists in the early 1980s. He now lives between Kintore and Kiwirrkura.

Artist statement

This work refers to the clay pan site known as Mamultjulkulnga on the western side of Wilkinkarra (Lake Mackay). Mamultjulkulnga is of great importance to the artist as his father passed away at this site. After rain, this claypan becomes a large shallow freshwater lake, which provides ideal conditions for the prolific growth of the small fleshy subshrub Tecticornia verrucose, known in Pintupi as Mungilypa. In ancestral times two Tingari Men of the Tjungurrayi and Tjapaltjarri kinship subsections camped at this site and gathered Mungilypa. The seeds from this plant are ground into a paste which is then cooked in the coals to form a type of unleavened bread. Since events associated with the Tingari Cycle are of a secret nature no further detail was given. Generally, the Tingari are a group of ancestral beings of the Dreaming who travelled over vast stretches of the country, performing rituals and creating and shaping particular sites. The Tingari men were usually followed by Tingari women and were accompanied by novices, and their travels and adventures are enshrined in a number of song cycles. These ancestral stories form part of the teachings of the post initiatory youths today as well as providing explanations for contemporary customs.