Literature in our Collection

James, Diana: Painting the Song: Kaltjiti artists of the sand dune country, McCullock & McCulloch, 2009, ISBN 9780980449464

Table of Contents        ¦         Cover Text        ¦         Book Review

Table of Contents

Part One: Painting the Song: Kaltjiti art and the art of the Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara lands -6-

Introduction to Kaltjiti Art -8-

1 Ara Irititja - stories of long ago -18-

2 Spindle to paintbrush -32-

3 Iritija munu kuaritja: the old and the new - art in transformation -50-

4 Evolution of walka - meaningful marks -72-

5 Acrylic Revolution -80-

Part Two: The artists’ country of song: Kaltjiti artists and their art -92-

The colour of song -96-

1 Talingka: Sand Dune Country (Kuli, Tjuntun, Irintata, Mulga Bore) -100-

2 Kakarara: East Country (Finke) -122-

3 Ulparira: South Country (Walalkara, Ililya) -122-

4 Wilurara: West Country (Watarru, Manungari’nga, Ngunymana’nya, Pipalyatjara, Irrungytju) -133-

5 Wilurara Alinytjara: North-West Country (Kanpi, Walytjitjata, Arang’nga) -144-

6 Alinytjara: North Country (Mantarur, Uluru) -155-

7 Painting songlines to the city -159-


Kaltjiti Artists by generation -162-

Pitjantjatjara two generational kinships -163-

Ethno Botanical names of plants in paintings -163-

Glossary of terms -164-

Endnotes -167-

Bibliography -169-

Index -170-

Cover Text

In 2005 the artists of Kaltjiti Arts in the Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara (PY) lands of northern South Australia decided to record their culture for future generations. With Beverley Peacock, arts centre manager since 1990, they approached Diana James, Kaltjiti’s first art advisor 1975-76, with the suggestion to collaborate on a book. A fluent Pitjantjatjara speaker, who has worked in the region for more than 30 years, like Geoffrey Bardon at Papunya and Winifred Hilliard at Ernabella, James’ life has also become intrinsically interwoven with those of the artists. From 2006 a series of extensive trips were made to the artists’ traditional country across thousands of kilometres of South Australia, the Northern Territory and Western Australia. Now this groundbreaking new book documents the artists’ stories along with the development of Kaltjiti Arts - from its humble beginnings in a primitive tin shed to a leading contemporary arts centre. As well, James documents for the first time the modern history of batik, carving, weaving and painting in Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara lands. This includes, on the artists’ encouragement, the first publication of some rare 1940s photographs of their forebears by anthropologist Charles Mountford along with fascinating vignettes of 40 years of their artistic development. A rare blend of scholarly research and first hand account, Painting the Song makes an important contribution to the lexicon of Aboriginal cultural history and is destined to become a classic on the subject.