Kiwikurra Sandhills (1999)
The subject represented by Walala in this work is a portion of the highly significant Dreaming event of the Tingari Cycle. The site is east of Kiwikurra in the Gibson Desert of Western Australia, Walala’s birthplace. It was here that a large group of Tingari ancestors (men and boys) had gathered for Malliera (initiation) ceremonies before traveling northward to Lake Mackay.
Kiwirkurra is distinguished by many sandhills and significant water soakages, which are highlighted in the painting by the rectangles. The over-dotting simultaneously represents the bush food which is plentiful after rain and the crushed daisies which are applied as body paint to the young initiates.
Since events associated with the Tingari Cycle are of a secret and sacred nature no further details were given. Generally, the Tingari are a group of men of the Dreaming (creation) era who traveled over vast stretches of the country, performing rituals and creating and shaping particular sites. The Tingari men were usually followed by Tingari Women and accompanied by novices. Their travels and adventures are enshrined in the song cycles. These legends form part of the teachings of the post initiatory youths today as well as providing explanations for contemporary customs.
Region: Kiwirrkurra (Gibson Desert), WA
Walala began abstracting the classical Pintupi designs, creating a highly graphic language to speak of his country and ceremonial sites. The rectangles so prominent in his paintings form both a physical and spiritual map…