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Wati Kutjara Wanampi by Thomas Murray 91 x 61

Wati Kutjara Wanampi by Thomas Murray 91 x 61

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Wati Kutjara Wanampi

Acrylic on Canvas

91 x 61 



This is a story of Wati Kutjara Wanampi (two male water serpents) - a father and son - who are living at a waterhole. According to the story, Anangu tjuta (lots of people) went to that rockhole for the kapi (water), which is said to taste sweet. This upset the father and he told them to go back to their own country. Once the people left, the father and son travelled to Willuna, where they camped for weeks. They then return to Pukara. One day they were sleeping, but were awoken by a loud buzzing sound. The Minyma Punpunpa (the female flies) had been attracted to the honey grevillea plants found near the waterhole. It prompted the father and son to get up and go to collect the honey from the plants. It is there that the Wati Mututa (male black ants) appeared. They speared the son in his side. When the son started vomiting, he produced the seeds of all the different varieties of honey grevillea plants that are still found there today. They include kaliny-kalinypa, ultukunpa, piruwa and witjinti.

About the Artist

Mr. Murray was born out bush at a clay pan in the Warburton ranges around 1934. His family walked around Western Australia for many years during his childhood living in traditional camps. He speaks both Ngaanyatjarra and Pitjantjatjara languages.

Throughout his long life, Yamangara has worked many jobs and seen many changes in both culture and country. As a young adult he worked on various stations mustering sheep and cattle to make money, and later was employed as a guide helping Western mining prospectors find mineral deposits on Ngaanyatjarra lands.

A proficient kulata maker, Mr. Murray is a relatively new to painting telling stories of his ngurra as well as traditional mens tjukurpa of the Central and Western Deserts. He has one son and travels widely east to west between Warburton and Pipalyatjara communities. He now lives primarily in Kalka with his partner, Ninuku and Papulankutja painter Jennifer Mintaya Connolly Ward. He is the oldest artist working at Ninuku Arts