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Painting by Papunya Tula artist David West Tjupurrula


David West Tjupurrula

Untitled, 2011. 

46 x 38cm. Acrylic on linen canvas. 

  • The Artist

    David West Tjupurrula is a Pintupi artist who paints for Papunya Tula.


    This dot painting depicts designs associated with the rockhole site of Mukula, which is situated in open flat country, to the south west of Jupiter Well. The roundels represent rockholes at the site, whilst the lines represent the surrounding Tali (sandhills). This site is a place for 'men's business', where the young men were taken for instruction by their elders. 


    Waterholes are often considered to be sacred places by the Aboriginal tribes. No doubt due to their practical importance in ensuring survival, they are subject of many myths and stories. They are thought to have special powers to cure the sick, be the sacred habitat of giant water snakes (a common motif in their art) and home to water sprites (burrawungal). The sprites, usually female, are thought to trap and drown unwary males - similar to mermaid stories told in western cultures.

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