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Artist Once Known

Root Plant - 1975

synthetic polymer paint on composition board
62.5 x 75.0 cm
Price Realised: $4,392.00

MP #802


Purchased directly from Peter Fannin when the owner was designing Aboriginal Housing in Papunya in 1975
Private Collection, Papua New Guinea


title written verso


Big Country: Australian Aboriginal Art Coast to Coast, Jeffrey Moose Gallery Seattle USA, June - September 2012

This early Papunya Board was collected by the second art adviser in Papunya, Peter Fannin in 1975. While the artist is unknown, the subject recorded on the back of the painting indicates the image relates to the wandering roots of a food plant (most probably a type of Yam).


Geoff Bardon wrote that in the early days in Papunya the names given to designs were simply what the artist was recorded as having said at the time the painting was created. Later, a revolving repertoire became apparent for each man. Charlie Tarawa was known at that time for his Yam Dreamings. Later Bardon noted that Tim Leura and his tribal brother Bill(y) Stockman owned the Yam Dreaming which was termed 'yella' in Warlpiri and 'watchi' in Anmatjerre/Aranda.

Research into this very interesting painting is ongoing.