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Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri

Larumba (Honey Ant) - 1995

synthetic polymer paint on Belgian linen
180.0 x 127.0 cm
EST. $35,000 - $45,000



Commissioned by Aranda Art, Vic
Private Collection, Vic

Accompanied by an image of the artist with the painting and signing the back of the artwork

Through a parallel pattern of lines the artist gives form to the underground claypan that flows with the salt filled waters from Napperby Lake, situated at the border of the Tanami and Simpson Desert in the artist's home country of Larumba (Napperby). This was his 'borning place', or his grandfather's and father's country. Larumba was initially inhabited by Upamburra, the ancient possum ancestor, who travelled to this desert landscape at the dawn of time in search of food and freshwater before setting up a permanent camp and establishing his tribal laws. Laws, which the artist's grandfather and father preserved in ritual song, dance, body decoration and sandpaintings. These Corroborees give all of Larumba,including its people and Napperby Lake, a living spirit, that never dies. Larumba is depicted in this painting through a rainbow of colours and creative abstraction.
The legendary honey Ant people lived in large colonies deep underground in Mulga country. They are said to have created soakages at Yuelumu (Mount Allan), their meeting place after travelling from Pine Hill, Papunya and Mount Doreen. From here they moved on east through Aljupa Kirritja, north of Tilmouth Well, and then south to Pine Hill station before leaving Anmatjerre country altogether for Alywerre country where they ‘finished up’ after passing through Hamilton Downs station.The honey ant is shown deep underground where the abdomens of the 'storehouse’ ants are gradually filled with nectar. The ants are one of the few sources of sugar in the traditional desert diet.