Canning Stock Route Soaks, 2007

48 Rita Simpson Muni (with Dulcie Gibbs Jugarda and Rosie Williams Muntararr) (c1941 – deceased)
Canning Stock Route Soaks, 2007
synthetic polymer paint on linen
133.5 x 302.5 cm
inscribed verso: artists’ names, size, Martumili
Sold for $38,400 (inc. BP) in Auction 15 - 21 July 2010, Melbourne

Provenance

Martumili Artists, Western Australia
The Collection of William and Lucy Mora, Melbourne

This painting is accompanied by certificates of authenticity from Martumili Artists, Newman WA

Executed in 2007 by Rita Simpson Muni and her sisters Rosie Williams Muntararr and Dulcie Gibbs Jugarda, this large collaborative depiction of the soaks along the Canning Stock Route recalls the journeys the sisters made when they were young as their family walked their traditional country between the Percival Lakes (adjacent to Well 40) and Kunawarritji (Well 33).

Martumili Artists represents artists from six Martu communities: Kunawarritji, Punmu, Nullagine, Parnpajinya/Newman, Jigalong and Parnngurr. It has grown rapidly since starting up in late 2006 and has quickly established a national reputation for innovative and dynamic art practice, with exhibitions throughout Australia and increasing international interest. Martumili frequently focuses on collective arts projects with strong links to country and culture, often resulting in the production of large collaborative paintings. Martu lands cover a large stretch of country, from south of Well 5 to Well 39 on the Canning Stock Route. The artists and their families are the traditional custodians of vast stretches of the Great Sandy, Little Sandy and Gibson Deserts as well as the Karlamilyi (Rudall River) area.

Most Martu people maintained an entirely independent, nomadic lifestyle until the 1950s and 1960s when they walked into settlements in response to long and severe drought and weapons testing in their homelands. Today Martu people live in their own communities and regularly visit regional centres such as Newman and Port Hedland. Art plays a particularly important role in the cultural and economic life of the communities. Many of the Martu artists are senior custodians of Martu cultural heritage who use their arts practice as a conduit for passing on knowledge of country and culture to younger family members.