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Old Tutuma Tjapangati

Untitled (Tingari Design) - 1977

synthetic polymer paint on composition board
61.0 x 115.0 x 2 cm
Price Realised: $45,600.00

MP #731


Private Collection, Vic
Sotheby's Australia, Fine Aboriginal and Contemporary Art, Melbourne, June 1996, lots 226 and 227, (illustrated)
Private Collection, Vic
Sotheby's Australia, Important Aboriginal Art, Melbourne, June 2011, Lot No. 21
Ebes Collection, Vic Cat. No. 5829


Cf. For a related, stylistically similar work see G. Bardon and J. Bardon Papunya, A Place Made After the Story, The Miegunyah Press,2004, p419

Each Artwork Sized: 61 x 115 cm

Each Artwork Framed Size: 61 x 120 cm

Eager to begin translating his Dreamings onto board right from the inception of the community at Papunya, Old Tutuma Tjapangati was one of the original Papunya Tula artists in the early 1970s. His work was first recorded in the second consignment of paintings to the Stuart Art Centre, attesting to his having been one of the first artists to work with Bardon.


Dick Kimber recalled him as a remarkable hard-as-nails senior man, still known as Tutuma rather than Old Tutuma, when he first met him in 1974. He was an important ceremonial elder and was one of the first Pintupi to own a camel, which he used to travel his homelands near Lake McDonald. Tutuma's traditional country included key sites in the vicinity of Docker River, in the far south west of the Northern Territory and north in the NT-WA border country.

This pair of paintings are associated with the Tingari. The various sets of concentric circles refer to camps of men involved in ritual business. It is likely that the smaller sets of circles indicate the more minor camps as men prepare for ceremonies, whilst the larger circles indicate that they all came together from time to time to perform the very strict men-only ceremonies. The linking bar lines indicate that all of the men were united in one purpose, meeting to discuss and plan the ceremonies, then travelling in associated groups over the Tingari landscape.