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  • Tilly Napaltjarri, Dog Tjukurrpa, 86x71cm
  • Tilly Napaltjarri, Dog Tjukurrpa, 86x71cm
  • Tilly Napaltjarri, Dog Tjukurrpa, 86x71cm
  • Tilly Napaltjarri, Dog Tjukurrpa, 86x71cm
Tilly Napaltjarri, Dog Tjukurrpa, 86x71cm
Tilly Napaltjarri, Dog Tjukurrpa, 86x71cm
Tilly Napaltjarri, Dog Tjukurrpa, 86x71cm
Tilly Napaltjarri, Dog Tjukurrpa, 86x71cm

Tilly Napaltjarri, Dog Tjukurrpa, 86x71cm

$799.00
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  • Aboriginal Artist - Tilly Napaltjarri
  • Community - Ikuntji (Haasts Bluff) 
  • Aboriginal Art Centre - Ikuntji Artists
  • Catalogue number - 06TN105
  • Materials - Acrylic on canvas  
  • Size(cm) - H86 W71 D2  
  • Postage variants - Artwork posted un-stretched and rolled for safe shipping
  • Orientation - Painted from all sides and OK to hang as wished

This is s story from near Papunya, it is Tilly's Father's story. "The puppy dog is searching for water. After the rain it is able to find rock-holes filled up with lots of water and is satisfied."

Tilly was married to the Papunya Tula artist Limpy Tjapangardi, a Luritja Arrente man. She learned to paint watching her husband at Papunya but only recently started painting at Ikuntji Womens and Art Centre when she moved to Haasts Bluff after the death of her husband. Tilly is profoundly deaf and has never developed oral language but is proficient with indigenous sign language. She is a well respected medicine woman and proficient hunter, regularly hunting for bush tucker like goanna and witchetty grubs. Her tjukurrpa is possum dreaming. It tells the story of her mother chasing a possum through the bush into the trunk of a hollow tree running up and hiding inside the of the trunk. Her mother lit a fire at the hole in the bottom of the tree smoking the possum out from the trunk. This is the reason why Tilly is deaf and mute because it was against her child’s dreaming, and Tilly was punished for her mother’s mistake Tilly regularly paints her father’s dreaming – dog or papa tjukurrpa and is based in her fathers country around Uluru and Neunman. Tilly tells the stories of the dog people hunting and doing business in this country as they travel through to Haasts Bluff. Tilly’s works have a great sense of spirit and magic emanating from them, and while her works are not widely known, those who have read her work and understood their underlying power receive a great gift from this extraordinary painter.

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