Attributed to Papatama or Taimundu (circa 1879-1940)
Untitled bears 'Painting on bark. Groote Island. Painter either Pata tama or Timondoo. Painted c. 1923. Collected by Mr H. L. Perriman (Church Missionary Sc.) and obtained from him Sept. 1942.' on a label on the reverse natural earth pigments on eucalyptus bark 72 x 13cm
PROVENANCE: Painted on Groote Eylandt circa 1923 Collected by Mr H. L. Perriman of the Church Missionary Society Private collection of the late Leonhard Adam
EXHIBITED: Museum of Ethnography at the University of Bonn, Germany, from the late 1950s - 1993 Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, Royal Pavilion Gardens, Brighton, United Kingdom, 1994 2011
Cf. For another bark attributed to Taimundu from the same period see Canoe and Figures, 1922 in Peter Sutton (ed.), Dreamings. The art of Aboriginal Australia, Melbourne: Viking, New York: Asia Society Galleries, 1988, p.56, pl.57 and p.221 as well as Bernhard Luthi, Aratjara: Art of the First Australians, Cologne: DuMont, 1993, p.145, fig.11 and p.333.
The description of Canoes and Figures in Dreamings. The art of Aboriginal Australia states, 'This work is one of a group of bark paintings in the South Australian Museum collected by anthropologist Norman B. Tindale. It was acquired by Tindale on April 16, 1922 at Yetiba (Yadikba) on the Emerald River, Groote Eylandt. At that time Aborigines there had had only minimal contact with Europeans. Tindale was the second field anthropologist to assemble a bark painting collection; he was preceded by Baldwin Spencer, who collected bark paintings at Oenpelli in 1912.
Tindale (1987) noted that the Aborigines 'were very fond of decorating their possessions, and during the rainy season, the "Wet", they spent hours lying in shelters of stringbark sheets. A constant activity is the painting of pictures of all kinds on the smooth under surface at arm's reach above them'. In his journal, Tindale records that on the day he acquired this painting he was drawing on paper and Aboriginal men fetched pieces of bark and painted them. He considers the work as possibly that of Papatama but "probably the work of Taimundu, which was never so finished as those by Papatama (Tindale, 1987)'(p.221, originally N.B. Tindale, Letter to Peter Sutton, September 30, 1987, Palo Alto, California).
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