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Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri

Napperby Dreaming - 1998

synthetic polymer paint on Belgian linen
122 x 134 cm
Estimate Upon Request

MP #562


Commissioned directly from the artist.
Private Collection, Vic
Private Collection, USA

This important, beautifully drafted work depicts the Water Dreaming for Clifford Possum's Tjampaltjarri skin group. The artist has painted the symbols for Rainbows , lightning, running water, clouds and hailstones. It is the continuation of Johnny Warangkula Tjupurrula's Water Dreaming story but it changes custodianship over to Tjapaltjarri/Tjungarrayi at a point north west of Yuendumu. It is the ancestral origin of all the rain that falls in the Western Desert. The striped composition on the macro level is a reference to the post storm rainbow.

The story related by the artist takes place at Niritjaladi, a cave site in a 'mountain' about 50 kilometres west of Mount Allan. A Tjungurrayi man had a lot of kungas (women). All the young women wanted him. Other men were upset and took off, leaving him behind knowing that he had sought shelter in a cave. They took this news and summoned others saying 'This fella here - all the women was singing for him every night - this fella dancing with shield and boomerang - all the young kungas love him - only one'.

The men sent a cloud to the secret cave. Tungurrayi saw the cloud to the north. Lightning came close, struck and killed him. The kungas still sing for him at night to this day.