The Guardians (1996)

Artist: Linda Syddick Napaltjarri

Region: Western Desert

Medium/Type: Painting

Size: 74 x 59 cm

Catalogue Number: 2124LSN

Status: Gallery Gondwana Archive SOLD

In this painting the artist depicts the sacred rock hole site of Walakurritje in Western Australia near Lake Macdonald, the traditional homeland of the Pintupi.

The central panel may be viewed as a topographical map describing features of the countryside. The central circle represents the rock hole at Walakurritje. Surrounding it, lies the desert landscape comprising multiple rows of sparsely vegetated sandhills.

This place is the site of a Tingari Dreaming story, for which Linda is custodian. The two spirit beings which inhabit this area (Kangaroo and Emu Men, as seen from left to right in the painting) are central to the story, which tells of how rain was made in response to the cries of the Emu Men. The red ochre background reflects the colour of the desert sand and also refers to the red ochre used in body-painting for traditional ceremonies.

The Tingari were mythological beings that travelled over vast stretches of country performing rituals and creating and shaping particular sites. The Tingari were usually followed by Tingari women and accompanied by novices. Their travels and adventures are enshrined in a number of song cycles. These mythologies form part of the teachings of the post initiatory youths today as well as providing explanations for contemporary customs.

Linda Syddick Napaltjarri

Regions: Gibson Desert, WA, Western Desert

Just as the Dreaming connects all of life, Linda herself incorporates contemporary events into the Dreaming…

More about Linda Syddick Napaltjarri


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