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Pansy Napangati (Napangardi) / Willy Wagtail

45cm x 37cm Acrylic on Linen, 2000

SKU: 9993


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SKU: 9993 Category:
In this painting the artist gives symbolic expression to ceremonial body paint associated to the Willy Wagtail at Pikilyi (Vaughan Springs) where his bird acquired a sacred identity after it flew to this area during the Dreamtime to warn two tribal men of a huge approaching storm, which was sweeping across the Northern Territory and was heading towards the men’s Pikilyi campsite.

Fearing that the men were in danger, this Dreamtime bird instructed the tribesmen to build a humpy (bush shelter) that would protect them from heavy rain and hailstones, which is exactly what the humpy did when the storm eventually arrived and filled the area’s water holes with fresh water and soaked Pikilyi`s desert terrain.

Like concentric circles associated to traditional sacred rituals, the square-like imagery in this work is also associated to sacred rituals and -besides lending expression to body paint – this motif also doubles to give form to the tribal men’s humpy, while at the same time the colours and dot work also lend to the idea of the rain and hailstones associated to the huge storm that came to Pikilyi during the Dreamtime at Creation.

 Artist Profile

Pansy Napangati was born in Haasts Bluff, c. 1945 and can remember being taught as a child by her grandparents, about the many jukurrpas and being shown by means of sand drawings the way to represent them in designs.

Around 1960 she moved to Papunya area, where she had contact with, among other artists, the later very famous Johnny Warangkula Tjupurrula and Kaapa Tjampitjinpa. She watched them at work, but developed a very different style, working at first on paper and creating collage from seeds which were otherwise used in jewellery. When the new art movement started at the beginning of the 70´s, she was one of the few women artists active from the beginning.

During the late 80’s Pansy Napangardi emerged as Papunya Tula’s foremost women artist. Her work was included in the company’s display at the 1988 Brisbane Expo and also featured on the cover of The Inspired Dream catalogue of a major survey of Aboriginal Art shown at the same time at the Queensland Art Gallery.

In 1989 Pansy won the sixth National Aboriginal Art Award, only the second female artist to do so.Her work has appeared in several major surveys of Aboriginal art, including ‘Mythscapes’ at the National Gallery of Victoria in 1989 and ‘Karnta’, a show of Aboriginal women’s work at the Art Gallery of NSW in 1991.

Selected Collections
• The Collection of Arnaud Serval Paris France
• Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane
• Art Gallery of the New South Wales
• Museum and Art Gallery Northern Territory
• National Gallery of Victoria
• National Museum of Australia
• Art Gallery of Western Australia
• Queensland Art Gallery
• Art Bank, Sydney
• Homes a Court Collection
• Art Gallery of South Australia
• National Art Gallery of New Zealand
• Richard Kelton Foundation Santa Monica USA
• BBC UK Collection London
• National Gallery London
• Powerhouse Museum
• Tasmanian Museum and National Art Gallery
• The Kelton Foundation Santa Monica USA

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