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Pintupi people

Tjitururrnga west of Kintore, Northern Territory, Australia born 1942 /1946

Sandhills and Rockholes of the Malparingya area 2003 Place made: Kiwikurra, Kintore, Northern Territory, Australia
Materials & Technique: paintings, synthetic polymer paint on canvas

Dimensions: 153.0 h x 122.0 w cm unframed 1525 h x 1225 w x 30 d mm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 2004
Accession No: NGA 2004.311

This picture displays intricate gridded structures across the surface, with a vertical column of parallel lines emerging from the bottom edge, and a cluster of circular forms at the bottom left. Walangkura Napanangka’s limited palette of cream, orange and brown creates a strong, abstract image in which the application and placement of paint express her sense of sites and narratives over and above a reliance on figurative imagery.

The circles in the painting are rockholes, and the lines depict the windblown sandhills in the area through which an old ‘devil devil’ woman, Kutungka Napanangka, is said to have passed during her travels from the west. She travelled from Malparingya, north-west of the Kintore community where the artist lives, and visited the site of the Tjintjintjin, where there is an underground cave. She also visited the soakage water sites of Ngatanga and Yaranga, and then travelled further east to Muruntji, and south-west of Mount Liebig. There she was accosted by one of a group of boys, so she chased them and caught all but the culprit who managed to escape. She killed the others and cooked them in a fire. She then travelled to Kaltarra, where she entered the earth.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2010
From: Ron Radford (ed), Collection highlights: National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2008