Bobby West Tjupurrula

Artist Bobby West Tjupurrula
Title Untitled (Wilkinkarra)
Year 2022

Acrylic on Belgian linen

Dimensions 91 × 122 cm
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Bobby West Tjupurrula

Bobby West Tjupurrula is the son of Freddy West Tjakamarra, one of the original shareholders of Papunya Tula Artists. He was born at the rockhole site of Tjamu Tjamu, which is east of Kiwirrkura. Bobby’s family was met by Jeremy Long’s welfare patrol in 1963. At the time his family was camping at Willi rockholes, slightly east of Walungurru (Kintore). Bobby appears with his family in the book The Lizard Eaters by Douglas Lockwood, which documents the 1963 patrol. He commenced painting for Papunya Tula Artist in the late 1980’s.

Artist statement

This painting depicts designs associated with the Snake Dreaming at Wilkinkarra (Lake Mackay). In ancestral times, a snake ancestor passed  through this site after travelling from further east. After entering Wilkinkarra the snake travelled underground eventually surfacing further west and continuing towards the site of Nyinmi. A large group of Tingari Men also converged on Wilkinkarra after having travelled from the west. Prior to arriving at Wilkinkarra the men passed through the sites of Palipalintja, Yunala and Tarkul. Since events associated with the Tingari Cycle are of a secret nature no further detail was given. Generally, the Tingari are a group of mythical characters 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 accompanied by novices and their travels and adventures are enshrined in a number of song cycles. These mythologies form part of the teachings of the post initiatory youths today as well as providing explanations for contemporary customs.