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Available Artworks

Tiger Palpatja

Wanampi - Water Snakes - 2005

synthetic polymer paint on Belgian linen
122.0 x 102.0 cm
Price Realised: $2,318.00

MP #408


Minymaku Arts, Amata Community, SA Cat No. 310-05
Lawson Menzies Lot 141, May, 2007
Tjala Aboriginal Art, NSW
The Mike Chandler Collection, NSW


accompanied by a Minymaku Arts certificate of authenticity

Though he began painting at the late age of 85, Tiger Palpatja's colourful, lively compositions immediately attracted art world acclaim. His blood reds, delicate pinks, lilacs and molten yellows impart a lovely gentleness to works renowned for strong lines and writhing serpentine forms.


Wanampi, the water snake, believed to be the ancestor of the Pitjantjatjara people, is the source of the austere power of his red desert country. Tiger was a senior custodian for the Wanampi creation story, which was central to his identity. It still instructs people in the reciprocal relationship between men and women to this day. The story tells of the frustration between two brothers and their wives. The men were spending too much time on their ceremonial activities so the women stopped providing food for them. The men then tricked the women by turning themselves into snakes and leaving enticing snake trails nearby which prompted the women to start digging vigourously and deeply after the food. When one sister eventually speared a snake, the injured and angered men swallowed the women whole and retreated forever into the holes, channels and gullies that the women had dug throughout the country. 

Tiger's artworks offer us a window into the soul of the earth, forged from his own song cycles and feel for the land.