Kiwirrkura, Western Australia, Australia born 1943 /1947
Papunya, Western Desert, Northern Territory, Australia
Materials & Technique: paintings, synthetic polymer paint on canvas
George Tjungurrayi was born at Murmu near Wilkinkarra (Lake Mackay) in the Gibson Desert. Throughout his youth he developed his knowledge of the significant sites associated with the Tingari cycle and absorbed the intense spirituality of place. Tjungurrayi’s exacting optical paintings represent the sacred geography of Pintupi country and evoke sensations of power and movement that are emblematic of the journeying of the Tingari Men in the Tjukurrpa (ancestral period). Tjungurrayi’s formal vocabulary consists of parallel lines that suggest shifting sand ridges, the rising haze of heat, the meandering tracks of snakes, the rippling surface of water and the streamlined form of spears. These mesmeric designs find their source in engraved tjurunga (stone objects) and bullroarers which are used to radiate the potency of ancestral presence to young initiates. While the artist’s visual matrix oscillates between gently contoured lines to complex geometric patterning, all conjure up the topographical majesty and latent spiritual power of the Gibson Desert.
Untitled 2002 depicts three diamond-shaped clay pans at Mamultjulkunga on the western side of Wilkinkarra. Here, a Tingari Man of the Tjapaltjarri subsection, camped, made spears and practised throwing them. This narrative provides a non-initiated audience with an abbreviated understanding of the landscape and the beings who created it, but the painting deliberately withholds its innermost secrets. Tjungurrayi, however, speaks uncensored to a Pintupi viewer who comprehends the dense network of meanings, responsibilities and sacred designs associated with the actions of the Tingari Men and Women. Encoded within these nuances, his painting is an act of cultural preservation and a powerful assertion of inscrutable Pintupi knowledge.
Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2010
From: Franchesca Cubillo and Wally Caruana (eds) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art: collection highlights National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2010
乔治·姜古拉依 (George TJUNGURRAYI)
183.0(高) x 244.0(宽) 厘米
Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra