Fred Tjakamarra (born circa 1926) Sam Tjampitjin (born circa 1930) and Tjumpo Tjapanangka (circa 1929-2007) Men's Law Painting, The Great Sandy Desert, W.A., 1997
Lot 66
Fred Tjakamarra (born circa 1926) Sam Tjampitjin (born circa 1930) and Tjumpo Tjapanangka (circa 1929-2007) Men's Law Painting, The Great Sandy Desert, W.A., 1997
AU$ 15,000 - 20,000
US$ 12,000 - 16,000

Lot Details
Fred Tjakamarra (born circa 1926) Sam Tjampitjin (born circa 1930) and Tjumpo Tjapanangka (circa 1929-2007)
Men's Law Painting, The Great Sandy Desert, W.A., 1997
bears artist's name and Warlayirti Artists catalogue number 529/97 T1, T2, T3 (respectively) on the reverse
synthetic polymer paint on linen
180 x 120cm (70 7/8 x 47 1/4in).

Footnotes

  • PROVENANCE:
    Purchased from Warlayirti Artists, Wirrimanu (Balgo Hills), Western Australia in July 1997
    The Laverty Collection, Sydney

    EXHIBITED:
    Paintings from Remote Communities: Indigenous Australian Art from the Laverty Collection, Sydney, Newcastle Region Art Gallery, Newcastle, 5 July - 31 August 2008

    LITERATURE:
    John McDonald, 'Art and Authenticity' in 'Collections' the International Magazine of Art & Culture, 1998, vol. 3, no. 1, p.62 (illus.)
    Colin Laverty and Elizabeth Laverty et al., Beyond Sacred: Recent Painting from Australia's Remote Aboriginal Communities - the collection of Colin and Elizabeth Laverty, Melbourne: Hardie Grant Books, 2008, p.142 (illus.)

    In Western Desert societies, the making of a
    ceremonial ground painting or mosaic requires a
    number of artists to collaborate for reasons of size and
    the time taken to prepare the work. More importantly,
    the artists must be in specific kin relationships to
    each other: those with patrilineally inherited rights
    of ownership of the ceremonial Dreaming and its
    associated designs, who are members of one moiety,
    collaborate with those who possess matrilineally
    inherited or custodial rights in the same Dreaming
    and designs, and who belong to the opposite moiety.
    The practice of creating collaborative paintings has
    extended into the public domain of art, from the early
    collective works at Papunya in the 1970s and those
    from Yuendumu in the 1980s, and continues to this
    day in several communities. At Balgo, the history of
    collaborative painting beyond ceremonial requirements
    dates to 1982 when paintings were made for Catholic
    Holy Week services, such as Last journey of Jesus by Greg
    Mosquito and other Balgo men (Crumlin, R. and A.
    Knight, Aboriginal Art and Spirituality, Melbourne: Dove
    Publications, 1995, plate 29, pp.56-7). The seminal
    exhibition Art from the Great Sandy Desert at the Art
    Gallery of Western Australia in 1986 included two
    painted 'assembly banners', each depicting Christian
    themes painted by a group of men (O'Ferrall, M.,
    [ed.], Art from the Great Sandy Desert, Perth: Art Gallery
    of Western Australia, 1986, p.8).

    In the winter of 1996, the first of a number of
    collaborative paintings was made during the tenure of
    James Cowan as art coordinator at Warlayirti Artists.
    Two of the first paintings are by Fred Tjakamarra,
    Sam Tjampitjin and Tjumpo Tjapanangka and are
    illustrated in Cowan, J., Balgo: New Directions, Sydney:
    Craftsman House, 1999, pp. 129 and 135. The
    three artists are all senior law men belonging to the
    same generation: Tjumpo Tjapanangka belongs to
    one patrimoiety, whereas Sam Tjampitjin and Fred
    Tjakamarra belong to the other. In these two paintings
    and in Men's Law painting. The Great Sandy Desert, W.A.,
    1997, the sequence of artists is consistent: Tjapanangka
    has painted the middle section in all three works, while
    the others have painted the sections to either side.

    In this painting the upper register has been painted by
    Sam Tjampitjin and, on the left, it represents a place
    near Kiwirrkura called Parkulata with a camp and fire
    surrounded by a windbreak made of trees, to the right
    of which is a depiction of a whirlwind at Tarunku. The
    central section by Tjumpo depicts freshwater soaks,
    while the lower register by Fred Tjakamarra shows
    clouds and rain. As the title suggests, this composite
    image refers to the teachings of the Tingari ancestors.

    Wally Caruana

    This painting is sold with accompanying Warlayirti Artists documentation
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