Tiger Palpatja (born circa 1920) Wanampi Creation Story
Lot 139
Tiger Palpatja (born circa 1920) Wanampi Creation Story
Sold for AU$ 5,760 (US$ 5,384) inc. premium
Auction Details
Lot Details
Tiger Palpatja (born circa 1920)
Wanampi Creation Story
bears artist's name, title, date, Tjala Arts catalogue number 635-06 and Alcaston Gallery catalogue number AK13046 on the reverse
synthetic polymer paint on linen
122 x 101cm


    Painted in 2006
    Tjala Arts, Amata, South Australia
    Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne
    Private collection

    Pitjantjara traditional healer and senior law man, Tiger Palpatja, now nearly 90 years of age began painting in 2004 with the establishment of Tjala Arts in Amata. His unique, colourfield compositions have achieved critical acclaim, exhibiting in a group show of the Kluge-Ruhe Collection, University of Virginia, USA in 2006 and nominated finalist of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards for the last three years.

    In this example, Palpatja depicts the Dreaming narrative of the Wanampi (giant water snakes) surrounding the site of his birth, Piltati, for which he is senior custodian. The Wati Kutjarra (two brothers) morphed into wanampi after the Minyma Kutjarra (two sisters) ate the food that was destined for the men. The brothers delved underground to taunt the sisters to try and hunt the snakes for food. After days of digging passages to find the snakes they were eaten by the brothers. The dugout channels created by the women forged the waterways which surround Piltati today. This narrative is ever-present in Palpatja's vibrant meandering lines and circular motifs which conjure waterholes or bush food which the sisters gathered.

    This painting is sold with accompanying documentation from Tjala Arts that reads in part: '... The thick cream colour snake centre bottom is the elder brother. The thinner cream snake to his left is the younger brother. The other lines are the tracks made by the sisters as they travel collecting and hunting food. The subtle 'u' shapes are the sisters. The circles with dots around them are kampurarpa or bush raisin. The solid circles are kapi tjukula or rock holes where water collects.'
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