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Tim Leura Tjapaltjarri

Women's Love Magic - 1975

synthetic polymer paint on canvas
126.0 x 83.0 cm
Price Realised: $9,500.00

MP #241


Papunya Tula Artists, NT Cat No. TL75029
Private Collection, Alice Springs NT


accompanied by a copy of the original art centre certificate

Tim Leura was steeped in ancient lore and, despite his initial reservations, he became one of the four founding members of the Western Desert art movement. He became invaluable to Geoffrey Bardon as friend, assistant, and interpreter. A man of whom Bardon wrote ‘he is my dearest and closest friend in the Western Desert’. While today Clifford Possum is the better known of the two ‘brothers’, Tim Leura is recognised as having been Possum’s spiritual mentor and instrumental in the development of Possum’s talent and technique.


This is a representation of a very special activity undertaken by single women. The women (sisters) here are possum ancestors at a tjililipa tjila, a single women's camp, at Lookura, west of Napperby Station.


The central concentric circles are painted on the women's breasts, the two arcs are painted around her breasts, and the two longer arcs painted from her ribs to her hips. The special decoration is applied to accompany a song and dance that the women have been taught in order to attract a man. The display is made whilst eligible men are in view. Utensils accompany the design, the mani mani stick defining one of the women's functions in hooking fruit from trees.*


* Story recorded by Janet Wilson, art adviser at Papunya Tula in 1975.