Tim Leura Tjapaltjarri (circa 1929-1984) Travelling honey ant dreaming - (version 7) 1972
Lot 111
Tim Leura Tjapaltjarri (circa 1929-1984) Travelling honey ant dreaming - (version 7) 1972
Sold for AU$ 73,200 (US$ 59,873) inc. premium

Lot Details
Tim Leura Tjapaltjarri (circa 1929-1984)
Travelling honey ant dreaming - (version 7) 1972
synthetic polymer paint on composition board
45.5 x 30.5cm (17 15/16 x 12in).

Footnotes

  • PROVENANCE
    Purchased at the Stuart Art Centre, Alice Springs in 1973
    Important Aboriginal Art, Sotheby's, Melbourne, 29 June 1998, lot 126
    Private collection

    EXHIBITED
    Origins of Western Desert Art: Tjukurrtjanu, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 30 September 2011 - 12 February 2012; Musée du quai Branly, Paris, 9 October 2012 - 20 January 2013

    LITERATURE
    Judith Ryan and Philip Batty et al., Origins of Western Desert Art: Tjukurrtjanu, Melbourne: Council of Trustees of the National Gallery of Victoria, 2011, p. 188 (illus.)

    Tim Leura belonged to the Anmatyerr group whose country lies on
    present day Napperby Station, some 200 kilometres west of Alice Springs.
    This is the land of the ancestral Honey Ant, Yerramp, with which the
    artist was intimately associated. This totemic linkage served Leura in good
    stead when he moved to live in the settlement of Papunya, itself built on
    another ancestral Honey Ant place. In his entry on the artist in Ryan et al,
    2011:180-81, John Kean alludes to the fact that the connection with the
    Honey Ant gave Tim Leura 'agency' at Papunya. He also set up his camp
    in the north west of the community facing towards Napperby.

    The significance of this subject in the artist's life is evidenced by the
    frequency with which he painted Honey Ant Dreamings. In Bardon and
    Bardon 2004, pp.334-37, Geoffrey Bardon describes eight paintings by
    Tim Leura on the subject, and illustrates seven. All the paintings feature
    symmetrical compositions that are characteristic of Anmatyerr art. In
    this, the seventh painting in the series, Leura symbolically depicts a major
    ceremonial event: the parallel lines entering the picture frame from
    four sides indicate large groups of people making their way to the ovalshaped
    ceremonial ground which doubles as the nest of the honey ants.

    Bardon suggests the oval forms in the painting are ceremonial objects
    decorated in ritual patterns akin to those painted onto the bodies of
    participants. The concentric roundels represent ground drawings and
    the ceremony is the domain of men as indicated by the depiction of the
    fighting boomerangs and stone knives in diagonally opposite corners of
    the picture.

    Wally Caruana
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