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  • Kutungka Napanangka, Hunting Brown Snake, 153x82cm
  • Kutungka Napanangka, Hunting Brown Snake, 153x82cm
  • Kutungka Napanangka, Hunting Brown Snake, 153x82cm
  • Kutungka Napanangka, Hunting Brown Snake, 153x82cm
Kutungka Napanangka, Hunting Brown Snake, 153x82cm
Kutungka Napanangka, Hunting Brown Snake, 153x82cm
Kutungka Napanangka, Hunting Brown Snake, 153x82cm
Kutungka Napanangka, Hunting Brown Snake, 153x82cm

Kutungka Napanangka, Hunting Brown Snake, 153x82cm

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  • Aboriginal Artist - Kutungka Napanangka
  • Community - Ikuntji (Haasts Bluff) 
  • Aboriginal Art Centre - Ikuntji Artists
  • Catalogue number - 02KN216
  • Materials - Acrylic on linen
  • Size(cm) - H82 153 D2  
  • Postage variants - Artwork posted un-stretched and rolled for safe shipping
  • Painted from all sides and OK to hang as wished

This painting shows women hunting brown snake along a rocky escarpment. The brown snakes are quick and disappear down into the rockholes.

Katungka is one of the daughters of Katarra Nampitjinpa, an important Pintupi artist who painted originally with the PapunyaTula Artists and then later with Ikuntji artists at Haasts Bluff. Katungka watched her mother and sister, Permungka, paint for many years but she only started painting regularly after her mother passed away in1999 . Katungka drives 100 kilometres round trip to and from Papunya every day to paint her stories. She is a devout Christian who is married to Pastor Murphy and regularly participates in religious ceremonies. Katungka appears to reconcile both traditions with respect and integrity and is deeply committed to the transmission of knowledge of both cultures. Katungka paints her mother’s dreaming stories or tjukurrpa from her country Ulkapa, near Kintore and the tjukurrpa from her own country at Intinti, both of which are far west of Haast’s Bluff, over the West Australian border. The stories at Intinti involve women hunting for kuniya or carpet snakes with nullanullas. The two kuniya disappear down rockholes, hiding from the women. Katungka lives in Alice Springs now is is an diayalisis patient In 2003 Katungka developed her white saltlake works. These have expanded and developed with fine marking all over the white canvas. Shadow forms are seen as marks in the salt lake. These marks represent people travelling, the wind shifting the salt, animal tracks and the myriad marks left on the salt pan by even the most minor change in the environment.

A lot of stories are still being recounted of long journeys of people from various language groups, who travelled from rockholes and waterholes to caves and mountains finally arriving at Haasts Bluff. The locals, Luritja people of Haasts Bluff, were already here. Thus Haasts Bluff is a community rich of diversity in language and culture.

Ikuntji Artists was first established in 1992, after a series of workshops with Melbourne artist Marina Strocchi, and under the influence of the then community president, the late Esther Jugadai. The art centre was initially set up to fulfil the role of women’s centre providing services such as catering for old people and children in the community. After first experiences made in printing T-shirts, the artists began producing acrylic paintings on linen and handmade paper, which quickly gained the attention of the Australian and international art world as well as earning the centre an impressive reputation for fine art. The focus changed from a women’s centre to an art centre in 2005 with the incorporation of the art centre as Ikuntji Artists Aboriginal Corporation.

The artists draw their inspiration from their personal ngurra (country) and Tjukurrpa (Dreaming). They interpret the ancestral stories by using traditional symbols, icons and motifs. The artistic repertoire of Ikuntji Artists is diverse and includes for example: naive as well as highly abstract paintings told by each artist in their personal signature style. Throughout the 21 years of its existence the art movement in Ikuntji has flourished and constantly left its mark in the fine art world. At the same time the art centre has been the cultural hub of the community, maintaining, reinforcing and reinvigorating cultural practices through art-making.

Today Ikuntji Artists has eight key artists, who exhibit in Australia and internationally. They are represented in major collections across the globe.

Text: Melanie Greiner, Alison Multa and Dr Chrischona Schmidt