Literature in our Collection

Bardon, Geoffrey: Papunya Tula. Art of the Western Desert, McPhee Gribble, Melbourne 1991, ISBN 0869141600

Table of Contents        ¦         Cover Text        ¦         Book Review

Table of Contents

Judith Ryan: Foreword -vii-

Ulli Beier: Foreword -xiii-

Preface -1-

Introduction -2-

The Dreamtime -2-

Western Desert Dreaming -3-

Art and the Dreaming -8-

Papunya: 1971 -10-

The Settlement -10-

Working with the Children -16-

The School Murals -18-

The Painting Movement: 1971-72 -22-

The Early Days -22-

The Painting Group -28-

Finding an Outlet -34-

Friends -36-

A Winter of Bitterness and Loss -41-

The Artists and their Work -47-

Old Walter Tjampitjinpa -48-

Johnny Warrangkula Tjupurrula -53-

Long Jack Phillipus Tjakamarra -61-

Old Tutuma Tjapangati -64-

Old Mick Tjakamarra -67-

Bill Stockman Tjapaltjarri -70-

Johnny Lynch Tjapangati -72-

David Corby Tjapaltjarri -74-

Charlie Tarawa (Tjaruru) Tjungurrayi -77-

Yala Yala Gibbs Tjungurrayi -81-

Mick Namerari Tjapaltjarri -84-

Charlie Egalie Tjapaltjarri -90-

John Tjakamarra -92-

Uta Uta Tjangala -95-

Shorty Lungkata Tjungurrayi -99-

Anatjira No. III Tjakamarra -102-

Tim Payungka Tjapangati -104-

Kaapa Tjampitjinpa -108-

Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri -113-

Tim Leura Tjapaltjarri -117-

Theories of Papunya Tula Art -125-

Technique and Symbology -125-

Hapticity -128-

The Fourth Dimension -130-

The Re-perception of the continent -133-

Looking Back -137-

Epilogue -138-

Bibliography -140-

Cover Text

The Papunya Painting Movement, born in the Western Desert in Northern Australia, is now one of the wonders of the modern art world - but its story is not well known. In 1971, when Geoffrey Bardon, a young Sydney art teacher, was posted to the government settlement at Papunya, he found more than a thousand Aboriginal people living in a state of dislocation and degradation. Bardon was not the first European to show interest in the traditional sand mosaics of these dispossessed people at Papunya, nor the first to recognize them as evidence of a powerful, ancient culture. Anthropologists had studied them over many years, but Geoffrey Bardon's empathy with the artists and his patient encouragement won the confidence of the tribal elders and brought forth revelations in a great surge of creativity hitherto unseen by Europeans. He provided the painting men with boards, brushes and paints, inviting them to give permanence and portability to a culture which might otherwise have been lost along with the tribal rituals of body decoration and images drawn directly in the desert sands. In defiance of the white authorities, he also encouraged the men to value their work commercially as well as spiritually. By the time he left Papunya in mid-1972, the painting men had formed their own company, Papunya Tula Artists Pty Ltd, with prodigious output, strong sales and great optimism. And the artistic force that hat been unleashed continuous to this day, albeit with greater self-consciousness and concealment of tribal secrets. The painting movement set in motion at that time has now spread to other areas of Central Australia and has achieved high international acclaim. It has not only gone some way to restoring the cultural pride of a deeply religious people, but it has also provided the rest of the world with a new way of seeing. This is a book about the exhilaration and the agony of the early days of the Papunya painting movement. It also provides an essential theoretical and technical framework for an adequate 'reading' of the art of the Western Desert. Twenty of the Papunya painters are represented and tell the stories of their work. Fifty color reproducitons of their paintings are accompanied by diagrams drawn by Judith Ryan, Curator of Aboriginal Art at the National Gallery of Victoria, from sketches and notes made by Geoffrey Bardon and the artists at the time of their miraculous beginnings.