Details & Cataloguing

Aboriginal Art


Warlimpirringa Tjapaltjarri born circa 1959
Bears Papunya Tula Artist number WT0310022 on reverse
Synthetic polymer paint on linen
153 by 183 cm
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Painted at Kiwirrkurra, Western Australia in 2003 for Papunya Tula Artists, Alice Springs, Northern Territory
Sotheby’s Australia, Important Aboriginal & Oceanic Art, Melbourne, 28 May 2013, lot 99
The Debra and Dennis Scholl Collection, Miami


Nevada, Nevada Museum of Art, No Boundaries: Aboriginal Australian Contemporary Abstract Painting, 13 February to 13 May 2015, and additional venues:
Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Portland, 20 June to 16 August 2015
Pérez Art Museum, Miami, 17 September 2015 to 3 January 2016
Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Detroit, 18 January to 15 May 2016
Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University, New York, 9 June to 14 August 2016


Henry F. Skerritt, ed. et al, No Boundaries: Australian Aboriginal Contemporary Abstract Painting, Prestel Verlag, Munich-London-New York, 2014, p.133 (illus.)

Catalogue Note

The setting for this mesmerizing image is Kalparti, a salt lake to the west of Lake MacKay (Wilkinkarra) in the artist’s sacred country where in ancestral times the Tingari traversed the land and established the laws of Pintupi society. The image is a composite of angular linear forms that visually echo the proto-lock and key designs that are associated with the Tingari and that are incised into the nacreous surfaces of pearl shell and other ritual objects such as sacred stones, bull-roarers and shields.

Pearl shells that originate in the north-western coastal Kimberley region of the continent, are infused with ancestral powers that are associated with life-giving water in all its forms (rain, storms, cyclones, rivers, freshwater springs) and healing. They are an essential part of a maparntjarra or traditional healer’s tool kit and are worn by initiates in ceremony. While pearl shells originate in the northwest, they move along well-established traditional trade routes for thousands of miles across the continent, reaching far into the desert regions of western and central Australia, and beyond.


This painting is sold with an accompanying Papunya Tula certificate, that reads in part, “This painting depicts designs associated with Kalparti, a salt lake, west of Lake MacKay (Wilkinkarra).”

Aboriginal Art