Above, ceremony time, west of Papunya in June 1972, from left: Tutuma Tjapangati, unknown, Ronnie Tjampitjinpa, unknown, Jimmy Wanatjukurrpa, Nosepeg Tjupurrula, unknown, John Tjakamarra, unknown, Walter Tjampitjinpa. Image: Llewellyn Parlette, from his personal collection.
The foundation works of the Western Desert art movement have returned home, perhaps not to West Camp at Papunya where the spark was lit in the song, dance and body painting of prolonged ceremonies starting in the warm months of late 1970, but to Alice Springs where the first paintings on board arrived, beginning their journey to international renown.
Tjungunutja, From Having Come Together opened at Araluen on the weekend, with hundreds of people, including scores of visitors from the Western Desert communities, attending the event. Most would have been seeing these landmark works of desert culture for the first time. The Alice Springs News Online will publish a review of the exhibition in the coming week, but in the meantime we draw readers’ attention to Kieran Finnane’s preview of the exhibition’s first iteration at MAGNT in Darwin in 2017.
Birth of an art movement: the untold story