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Jimmy Kurtnu Pike

Paparta Waterhole - c.1990

synthetic polymer paint on canvas
118 x 90 cm
Price Realised: $2,196.00

MP #273


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

signed J Pike verso
Accompanied by certificate supplied by Pat Lowe 30.6.09


Jimmy Pike, Rebecca Hossack Gallery, London, 1998

Having spent many years away from his homeland before returning to establish his own outstation, Jimmy Pike'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.

Many of his paintings and prints represent maps and narratives about this country, incorporating decorative patterns his people used on spears, boomerangs, and 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 once stood.