Untitled Document


TJUKURRTJANU: ORIGINS OF WESTERN DESERT ART – The Ian Potter Centre: National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

TJUKURRTJANU: ORIGINS OF WESTERN DESERT ART – The Ian Potter Centre: National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

Featuring 200 of the first paintings produced at Papunya in 1971 and 1972 by founding artists of the Western Desert art movement this important exhibition celebrates the two dimensional expression of an ancient four dimensional knowledge. The early Papunya boards represent the moment when an unknown iconography based on designs that are ‘tjukurrtjanu’ (from the Dreaming) was conceived and an unexpected aesthetic sparked the genesis of the Papunya Tula movement.

‘Tjukurrtjanu: Origins Of Western Desert Art’ gives prominence to the connection between the works of art themselves and their origins in the ephemeral designs of ceremony. By presenting paintings from the early 1970s alongside preceding shields, spear throwers, stone knives, headbands, body ornaments and historical photographs the exhibition offers the opportunity to examine the birth of an art movement – when the ancient visual language of the Western Desert was rendered permanent on sheets of composition board and thereby transformed into a rich new art form: artefact became art.

‘Tjukurrtjanu: Origins Of Western Desert Art’, a collaboration with Museum Victoria in partnership with Papunya Tula Artists Pty Ltd, opens on 29 September 2011 and runs until 12 February 2012 before showing in Paris later that year. More at: www.ngv.vic.gov.au/tjukurrtjanu