Tingari Cycle (2001)

Artist: Walala Tjapaltjarri

Region: Wilkinkarra (Lake Mackay) / Western Desert

Medium/Type: Painting

Size: 61 x 198 cm
(Artwork can be rotated)

Catalogue Number: 6366WT

Price: $3,500


The subject represented by Walala, is a portion in the highly significant Dreaming event of the Tingari Cycle. The site is Kiwirkurra in the Gibson Desert of Western Australia and 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. In this painting Walala has represented these natural formation by the series of irregular 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.

Walala uses a highly personalised and minimal style to represent aspects of the sacred Tingari Cycle, an epic journey of Ancestral Beings from the Jukurrpa (Creation Era). The sandhills are represented by the elongated red rectangles. The series of yellow rectangles to the top and bottom of the painting symbolise young men’s ceremonial body designs.

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 Mythological beings of the Dreaming who travelled 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 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.

Walala Tjapaltjarri

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…

More about Walala Tjapaltjarri


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