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Jimmy Kurtnu Pike

Paparta Waterhole - c.1990

synthetic polymer paint on canvas
118 x 90 cm
EST. $2,500 - $3,500

MP #273


Provenance

Purchased at an exhibition to raise funds for Environs Kimberley.
Private Collection, USA

Certificate and story supplied by Pat Lowe 30.6.09
signed J Pike verso.

Exhibited

Jimmy Pike, Rebecca Hossack Gallery, London, 1998

Having spent many years away from his homeland before returning to establish his own outstation Jimmy’s passion was in rediscovering and maintaining the sacred sites and waterholes that once sustained his family’s nomadic journeying. This helped him to consolidate the mythological world of ancestors and Dreaming stories that were his people’s spiritual source.

The unique physical and spiritual setting of Jimmy Pike's Walmatjarri desert homeland, was the wellspring of his dynamic creativity, which became identified with its compelling, sinuous line and intense colour. Many of his paintings on canvass and prints represented maps and narratives about this country and incorporated decorative patterns his people used on spears, boomerangs or utensils. Yet Pike also brought an individual perspective to his subject matter, which gave his work a very contemporary flavour. His two-dimensional flattened figures and energetic designs conveyed a hard-edge modern sensibility.

According to legend, Paparta used to be like a man before he turned into a waterhole. A waterhole that is most often dry, in the shape of a man. He was staying at Warnti with his two wives. He looked after all the people and carried water for them in his coolamon. When they complained he poured water on the ground to punish them. When other people sent food the old man ate it all himself. The people were starving and got angry and killed him with their boomerangs. Today the waterhole is dry with trees standing all around it where the people were.