Purchased directly from Peter Fannin when the owner was designing Aboriginal Housing in Papunya in 1975
Private Collection, Papua New Guinea
artist name and title verso
Artwork Size: 61 x 45.5 cm
Frame Size: 64.5 x 49 cm
Johnny Warangkula was born at Mintjilpirri, north west of the Kangaroo Dreaming site of Ilpili soakage. He first encountered ‘white fellas’ at just 12 years of age. He moved to Papunya with his first wife, in the early 1960s, shortly after its establishment, and by the time Geoff Bardon arrived in 1971, he was a member of the Papunya Council alongside Mick Namarari.
Warangkula was amongst the most inventive of the early Papunya artists. His 'calligraphic line and smearing brushwork'*, gave a relative solidity to the features of the land, or traced the movements of a journey, picking up on the rhythmic recall of a mythic narrative. Bands of hatching or parallel lines provided visual texture, often interspersed with animal tracks or symbolic figures woven in to tightly synchronised compositions that still resound with freshness and surprising spontaneity. Choosing to keep within the hues of traditional earth based ochres, he achieved in his early paintings a startlingly powerful statement of the earth, his country and the life within it
During his first 15 years as a painter he was foremost amongst those who fundamentally shaped the Papunya art movement, and he went on to sustain a 30-year career as a painter.
* G. BardonShare