Yanda Aboriginal Art, NT Cat No. 201201
Harvey Galleries, NSW Cat No. H12401
Private Collection, NSW
Accompanied by eight working photographs and one of the artist with the completed artwork
George Ward arrived in Papunya in the early 1960s while still in his teenage years and worked as a fencer and butcher in the community kitchen. Although born to different mothers, he shared the same father with Yala Yala Gibbs and Willy Tjunurrayai, and when he began to paint in 1976, he assisted these senior artists who worked within the tightly knit group of established Pintupi painters.
Though he was reputed to have completed several canvases during the early 1980s, George Ward did not begin painting in earnest until after the death of his brother Yala Yala Gibbs in 1998. Thereafter, he rapidly developed his own style based on the men’s key designs used to incise ceremonial artefacts including dance regalia with their mesmeric interlocking geometric and parallel linear patterning.
This painting depicts designs associated with the site of Kaakuratintja (Lake McDonald). In mythological times, a Tingari man visited this site before travelling west to Patantja. As he travelled, he carried two Kuniya (pythons) with him. One large venomous snake also travelled west from Lake McDonald. According to Pintupi mythology, the Tingari travelled over vast stretches of the country, performing rituals and creating and shaping particular sites during the Dreamtime.Share