Mick Namerari Tjapaltjarri


Untitled by Mick Namerari Tjapaltjarri

Artwork Detail

Mick Namarari Tjapaltjarri is an Aboriginal artist of the Pintupi tribe from the Western Desert of central Australia who was part of the Papunya cultural renaissance. Papunya was a settlement established by the government 260 miles west of Alice Springs to facilitate the imposed assimilation of Australian desert people. For Aboriginal people trucked into Papunya, it meant severance from traditional lands and ceremonial sites in unfamiliar conditions which quickly went from bad to worse. In 1971 Geoff Bardon, an art teacher at the settlement nicknamed 'Mr Patterns', encouraged a group of senior tribesmen to paint two large murals of their Dreamings on school walls. The subject of one of these murals was the Honey Ant Dreaming, in acknowledgement of a local sacred site. This was the start of an amazing flowering of Aboriginal painting and an assertion of a 40,000-year-old cultural heritage of creation stories, sacred rites, land custodianship, spirituality and law. The Dreamings, which artists like Tjapaltjarri represent in their apparently 'abstract' art, are reiterations and celebrations of creation narratives which 'sing up the land' by recounting exploits of ancestral beings who travelled the land in the deep past. Though fully understood only by those initiated into Dreaming lore, these paintings refer to important Dreaming sites and events and the elemental presence of trees, rocks, hills and water. (from The Guide, 2001)

Mick Namerari Tjapaltjarri
Production date
acrylic on linen
913 x 615 mm
Credit line
Chartwell Collection, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, 1995
Accession no
Copying restrictions apply
International Art
Display status
Not on display

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