Important Aboriginal Art
25 March 2009


born c.1952

synthetic polymer paint on linen

181.5 x 243.0 cm

inscribed verso: artist's name, size and Papunya Tula Artists Pty Ltd catalogue number JJ0408100

$50,000 - 70,000

Papunya Tula Artists Pty Ltd, Alice Springs Acquired from the above in 2004
Collection of Stephen Bush, New South Wales

This painting is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity from Papunya Tula Artists Pty Ltd, Alice Springs which indicates that the painting depicts designs associated with the soakage water site of Ngarrtjapiritjinn, found south of Kiwirrkura community. At this site Tingari Men made ngalyipi, a type of woven sandal made from the bark of the sandhill rattlepod shrub Crotalaria cunninghamii. These sandals were used to protect the feet when walking over hot sand or rocky country.The lines in this painting depict the bark that is used in the production the sandals.

Catalogue text

Joseph Jurra Tjapaltjarri first painted for Papunya Tula Artists in 1987, a year after he began to paint. He was born in 1952 in the desert close to what is now the community of Kiwirrkura in Western Australia. Joseph and his family were brought to the settlement of Papunya by one of the Northern Territory Welfare patrols in 1964. This large and important painting was executed in 2004 and follows a stylistic theme relating back to his earlier work included in the exhibition Papunya Tula; Genesis and Genius which was held in 2000 at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. His works are held in numerous public collections including the National Gallery of Australia.

Joseph Jurra Tjapaljarri, together with Ray James Tjangala and Bobby West Tjupurrula, was invited to the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, New York, to construct an elaborate ground painting to coincide with the exhibition Icons of the Desert: Early Aboriginal Paintings from Papunya, 10 January - 5 April, 2009. Throughout 2009, the exhibition will tour the United States of America.