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Kaapa Mbitjana Tjampitjinpa

Goanna Dreaming - 1973

synthetic polymer paint on composition board
82.0 x 62.0 cm
Price Realised: $18,400.00

MP #89


Purchased directly from the artist at Papunya in 1972
Private Collection, NT
Sotheby's, Important Aboriginal Art, June 1998
Private Collection, NSW
Joel Fine Art, June 2008
Private Collection, SA


Songlines and Dreamings, Contemporary Australian Aboriginal Paintings, Patrick Corbally-Stourton, Lund Humphries Publishers Ltd, London,1996, pp.88-89, pl.86

Watch the Review

Kaapa Mbitjana Tjampitjinpa was an artist of the highest importance in the development of Western Desert art. During the early 1970s he created 'some of the most powerful and emblematic paintingss from the Central Desert' *. The finest examples are held in major collections throughout Australia and overseas, and these remain his greatest and most enduring legacy.


In this work of Anmatjerre Arrente heraldry, symmetrical motifs and radiating, sinuous lines represent water courses and the journey of goanna ancestors as well as 'sit down places' where men are seated during ceremony. The artist has used traditional earth colours to depict the sites and journeys of ancestral beings and the enactment of the ceremony pertaining to them.

* Kean, John. 1990. Obituary. Art & Australia 27(4).