Wild Peanut Dreaming bears artist's name, title and Stuart Art Centre consignment number 4012 on a Stuart Art Centre label on the reverse synthetic polymer powder paint on board 51 x 30cm
PROVENANCE: Painted at Papunya in 1971 Painting number 12 in consignment 4 to the Stuart Art Centre, Alice Springs Private collection Ebes Collection, Melbourne
LITERATURE: Hank Ebes (ed.), Nangara: the australian aboriginal art exhibition from the Ebes collection, Melbourne: The Aboriginal Gallery of Dreamings, 1996, vol 1, p.41, cat. no.19; vol 2, cat. no.19 (illus.). Hank Ebes (ed.), The Australian Aboriginal Art Exhibition, Japan: The Yomiuri Shimbun, 2001, p.22 (illus.)., p.108 Geoffrey Bardon, and James Bardon, Papunya, A Place Made After the Story: The Beginnings of the Western Desert Painting Movement, Melbourne: The Miegunyah Press, 2004, p.352, Bardon's diagram (illus.).
EXHIBITED: Nangara: the australian aboriginal art exhibition from the Ebes collection, Stichting Sint-jan, Brugge, Belgium, March 9 - June 23, 1996, cat. no.19 The Australian Aboriginal Art Exhibition, Hokkaido Asahikawa Museum of Art, Asahikawa, Japan, April 13 May 27, 2001; Tochigi Prefectual Museum of Fine Arts, Utsunomiya, Japan, July 15 September 2, 2001; Iwaki City Art Museum, Iwaki, Japan, November 10 - December 16, 2001, cat. no.5 Dreamtime - Aboriginal Art from the Ebes Collection, Arken Museum of Modern Art, Ishoj, Copenhagen, Denmark, February 11 - August 13, 2006
Tim Leura Tjapaltjarri was an accomplished, smartly dressed stockman who had been working on Napperby and other nearby cattle stations when he first met Geoff Bardon. Tim became Geoff's best Aboriginal friend of the many Aboriginal friends Geoff made by encouraging them in their painting of their country's Dreamings. Wild Peanut Dreaming clearly indicates that it is one of the artist's early stylised paintings, as shortly after this time Geoff Bardon understood that the "wild peanuts" were in fact the yelka bulbs of the "bush onion" plant, Cyperus rotundis. This plant grows prolifically in areas where creeks flood-out and bulbs are gathered from just beneath the surface: they can be husked by rolling in the hands and eaten on the instant, but are preferred lightly roasted.
The painting is very much in Tim's balanced style, which is also common to all Anmatyerre artists of the era. It is as though we are viewing the plant from above, with the distinctive long grass-like leaves represented by the large concentric circles the home of the yelka plant, and also of the sinuous lines of the roots leading to the yelka bulbs, represented by the smaller concentric circles. A much more conventional traditional depiction of this plant by the same artist is illustrated in Bardon and Bardon, (2004:320).
An identical form was used by Tim to represent the very different large vine-like yala bush potato plant, its radiating roots and the bush potatoes, (although he normally used a distinctively different more natural shape for the potatoes).
Geoff did not initially realise the importance of recording site names, which allow identification of elements in paintings of similar form.
R. G. (Dick) Kimber
This painting is sold with the original Stuart Art Centre documentation