Artist Profile - - CONTENTS - by Camilla Wagstaff

APin­tupi man from the West­ern Desert re­gion, Ge­orge Tjun­gur­rayi’s vi­sion of his peo­ple’s tra­di­tional Dream­ing sto­ries as­sumes mes­meric lin­ear forms that set his work apart as his own, dis­tinc­tive voice. His unique vis­ual lan­guage will be on show at the Bi­en­nale of Syd­ney. IN AN IN­DUS­TRIAL WARE­HOUSE IN SYD­NEY’S Alexan­dria, a slice of the West­ern Desert ra­di­ates and shim­mers off an un­stretched can­vas in the cen­tre of the room. It’s a se­duc­tive, op­ti­cal bal­let that char­ac­terises the work of Indige­nous painter Ge­orge Tjun­gur­rayi. But the swim­ming, shift­ing forms that mes­merise are only one part of the magic to be dis­cov­ered here. Tjun­gur­rayi is a Pin­tupi man from the West­ern Desert, around six and a half hours west of Alice Springs. Though he lives and works in Kin­tore, the place he as­so­ciates with most is Wilkinkarra; an enor­mous, arid salt lake sur­rounded by rolling sand hills and vast desert flats. Wilkinkarra is an im­por­tant site for many Pin­tupi men and women, and plays a cen­tral role in the Dream­ing sto­ries as­so­ci­ated with the area. The painters who as­so­ciate with Wilkinkarra each es­tab­lish their own way of por­tray­ing these tales. Just as there are myr­iad in­ter­pre­ta­tions of ‘The Last Sup­per’, so too are there count­less vari­a­tions of the Pin­tupi sto­ries, all painted with an in­di­vid­ual hand, told with a nu­anced voice. Tjun­gur­rayi’s is cer­tainly a voice that re­sounds.

01 Un­tiled, 2017, acrylic on li­nen, 153 x 122cm 02 Ge­orge Tjun­gur­rayi, cour­tesy the artist and Pa­punya Tula 02

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