Tinka ~ Sand Goanna, 2021


  • 30cm x 30cm
  • 2021
  • Acrylic On Canvas
  • Catalog No: 1148-pamade040-21

Paintings depict the Tjukurpa, the Law and stories of Ancestors. Anangu (Central and Western Desert Aboriginal people) have responsibilities for the protection and teaching of different Tjukurpa and there are strict protocols for the imparting of knowledge. The dotting technique has evolved with the need to adapt sacred expressions of Tjukurpa for public viewing and as a depiction of the desert landscape. Minyma kutjara , two senior women, sit with their wooden collecting bowls and digging sticks while their men, wati kutjara, sit opposite them with a spear and boomerang each. As in any culture, distinct roles in the care of family and the wider community are held by the adults and traditional desert life involved intimate knowledge of the environment. The ‘u’ shaped figures are the people, meeting today as they have done since Creation times, to share, celebrate and pass on the different Tjukurpa and the links it forms with other parts of their country and kin. On either side are two tinka (Varanus gouldii or sand goanna). Tinka or kurkati live in the sandhills and plains country and have always been an important source of kuka (meat) for Anangu of this area. They are still hunted by the women in the spring and summer time when they have ended their underground hibernation and can easily be tracked across the red sands.