Tingari ceremonial cycle
Tingari ceremonial cycle

Simon Tjakamarra

c1947 - 1990 Tingari ceremonial cycle 1988
  • acrylic and ochre on canvas
182.9 cm x 182.9 cm

Simon Tjakamarra was the younger brother of Anatjari No.3 Tjakamarra and he produced a number of acclaimed large scale paintings in the 1980s, using a palette of black and golden ochre paint. Simon Tjakamarra's paintings evolved into a highly distinctive interpretation of the Tingari template where his immaculate rendering of the design endows his works with a distinctive undulating rhythm. These artists developed and refined the Pintupi style of paintings based on a series of linked roundels, stripped of other desert iconography such as the tracks of animals or humans, U-shapes and meandering lines.

Tingari traditions are widely distributed among the Aboriginal people of Central and Western Australia, and refer to a specific group of inter-related tjukurrpa (song-myth cycles). The Tingari were a group of ancestral elders who - in the Dreaming - travelled over vast areas of the Western Desert, performing rituals and creating or opening up the country. These senior men were usually accompanied by punyunyu, recently-initiated novices whom they provided with further instruction and guidance in the Law. There were also travelling groups of Tingari Women. The adventures of the Tingari groups are enshrined in numerous song cycles which form part of the teachings of punyunyu today, and provide explanations for contemporary customs in Western Desert societies. At the many sites that make up these journey lines, groups of Tingari people held initiation and other ceremonies and caused or encountered many natural phenomena. In the course of these many adventures, they either created or became the physical features of the sites they visited, forming such features as rocky outcrops, waterholes, trees, salt lakes and ochre deposits.

Source: Hetti Perkins and Hannah Fink, Papunya Tula: Genesis and Genius, Sydney: Art Gallery of New South Wales and Lloyd D. Graham, The nature and origins of the Tingari Cycle.




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The Wesfarmers Collection of Australian Art acknowledges all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Traditional Custodians of Country and recognises their continuing connection to land, sea, culture and community. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

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