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Mick Namarari Tjapaltjarri

Mick Namarari Tjapaltjarri

Mick Namarari Tjapaltjarri | Pintupi language group | Australia 1926-98 | Bush tucker story 1972 | Synthetic polymer paint and natural pigments on composition board | 78 x 76.5cm | Purchased 1995 with a special allocation from the Queensland Government. Celebrating the Queensland Art Gallery's Centenary 1895-1995 | Collection: Queensland Art Gallery Courtesy of Aboriginal Artists Agency

Mick Namarari Tjapaltjarri, 'Bush tucker story', 1972

Mick Namarari Tjapaltjarri
Pintupi language group
Australia 1926-98
Bush tucker story 1972
Synthetic polymer paint and natural pigments on composition board
78 x 76.5cm
Purchased 1995 with a special allocation from the Queensland Government. Celebrating the Queensland Art Gallery's Centenary 1895-1995
Collection: Queensland Art Gallery
Courtesy of Aboriginal Artists Agency

Mick Namarari Tjapaltjarri

Bush tucker story 1972

Mick Namarari Tjapaltjarri was an important contributor to the Western Desert art movement. He was an artist of great integrity, and his extraordinary skill transcends cultural contexts.

Bush tucker story is a classic example of an early board painting by one of the original senior members of the Papunya art movement, and is one of the most significant works by Mick Namarari. As a senior ceremonial man, his paintings cover many Dreamings. Although this work refers to bush tucker, it is also an important Water Dreaming story, celebrating water as a life-giving force and paying homage to nature and the spiritual power of the land. 

A myriad of fine lines and dots join together in Bush tucker story to create a central swirling vortex that dominates the painting. It is a poetic abstraction of the rhythm of movement and the growth of underground roots, which are stimulated by rainwater running over the ground, seen here as wavy lines. On either side of this vortex are two semi-circular forms, which represent rainbows appearing in the desert after the deluge.