Untitled – Sandhills
George Tjungurrayi paints his trademark paintings using undulating parallel lines. These are reminiscent of the shapes left on the sand by the wind or the retreat of water in the clay pans and is described by Tjungurrayi as representing the energy of the tingari ancestors.
The simple, clean, striking nature of his work means it works well in a variety of spaces, particularly in modern, minimal spaces. This combination of expression of culture and skilled creation of art in the western tradition has contributed to his popularity as an artist and his inclusion in large contemporary prizes and exhibitions including the Sydney Biennale 2018 and this year for the sixth time, the Wynne Prize finalist exhibition at the AGNSW.
George Tjungurrayi for the Art Gallery of NSW, 2020This painting relates to the claypan site known as Mamultjjulkulnga, on the edge of Wilkinkarra (Lake Mackay) in Western Australia. This site is of great importance to me as it is where my father passed away.
After rain, this claypan becomes a large shallow freshwater lake, which provides ideal conditions for the fleshy shrub known in Pintupi as mungilya. In ancestral times, two Tingari men of the Tjungurrayi and Tjapaltjarri kinship groups camped at this site. They gathered the seeds from Mungilya which, when ground into a paste, is roasted in the campfire coals to produce a type of unleavened bread.
George Tjungurrayi, 2020