Sons and Orphans near Kurlkurta (1984)
72 by 48in (183 by 122cm)
Synthetic polymer paint on canvas
Commissioned by Duncan Kentish Art, at Docker River, September 1984
Sotheby's, Melbourne, July 1998
Private Collection, U.S.A.
East to West: Festival of Arts, Adelaide, SA March 1990
Metropolitan Museum of Art, Contemporary Aboriginal Painting from Australia, New York, Dec. 2009-June 2010
Tjakamarra (circa 1930-1992) was a significant contributor from the earliest group of Aboriginal painters from the Papunya community in the Northern Territory founded in the early 1970's. At that time, the paintings were of images, particularly related to sacred stories and ceremonial aspects of traditional narratives. Tjakamarra established himself as a skilled painter who depicted carefully planned ceremonial designs.
The present work is defined by two distinct aspects each by separate Dreamings which are related to one another. These Dreamings were told to the artist by old people who undoubtedly where no longer alive at the time of the painting. Sons and Orphans near Kurlkurta illustrates places near Kurlkurta, the traditional homeland of the artist.
A narration of the story of the painting was given by Tjakamarra at Docker River on October 13, 1984, recorded by Duncan Kentish and interpreted by Wayne Howard; all providing an insight into the thoughts of the artist at the time he created this work. A diagram of the painting is also provided with annotations explaining essential iconography and it's relationship to the story.