The work was originally acquired by Pat Hogan's assistant at the Stuart Art Centre, Alice Springs, where she was employed in many capacities, including producing the annotated diagrams on certificates. She remembers this work having a story about sandhills.
This painting is sold with a photocopy of the original annotated drawing of the work from the Stuart Art Centre's archive, which indicates that the painting represents many spears used by men to build a safe camp, together with an accompanying document regarding the painting with an annotated diagram and an interpretation of the imagery depicted, by Geoffrey Bardon.
Paintings such as this relate to the Tingari ancestors who endowed the peoples of the western deserts of Australia with the civilising attributes of language, law and culture. Their teachings are of an esoteric nature and continue to inform young initiates in ceremonies to this day. As such, little is divulged publically but the supernatural powers of the Tingari are alluded to in paintings such as Sandhill Dreaming. Ostensibly this picture depicts a sand hill in plan view, a visual synecdoche for the endless expanses of sand dunes across the Gibson Desert. The sides of the sandhill are scarred by wind to form a ridge that runs vertically down the composition. The power of the work, however, lies in its evocation of a landscape that hums with the presence of ancestral forces through the rhythms created by the alternating lines of dots and white arcs that create a visually pulsating surface.
The significance of this work in the history of the Papunya painting movement is evidenced by the fact that it was shown in both seminal exhibitions of the art of Papunya: in Papunya Tula: Genesis and Genius, at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, in 2000, and in Tjukurrtjanu: Origins of Western Desert Art at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, in 2011, and at the Musée du quai Branly, Paris, in 2012-13.
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