TJILKAMATA ROCKHOLE - ART STORY
By Kumuntjai Nampitjinpa Dixon
This is the story of Tjilkamata - the porcupine man. He is travelling around Talaalpi, West of Kintore and is looking for ants. He digs for them in the ground and creates holes. Meanwhile tracking behind him are women out hunting, hoping to make the porcupine their tucker for the evening. These holes fill with water after the rain and with the morning dew. Over many years they have become rockholes.
This work is the story of Kumuntjai's personal Tjukurrpa (Dreaming) – the porcupine (Tjilkamata). The setting is the rockholes in and around the swamp of Talaalpi in Western Australia.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Kumuntjai was a Luritja and Pintupi artist; born in 1943 near Talaalpi: country east of Walungurru on the Western Australia / Northern Territory border. Kumuntjai was an established artist who exhibited widely around Australia and the world. She passed away in December 2020. Her late father was one of the original Papunya Tula painters. Prior to painting, Kumuntjai worked for many years at the Kintore School teaching the young girls dancing and the traditions of the desert people. Kumuntjai was an active “dancing woman” who travelled widely to participate in annual ceremonies and “Women’s Law” meetings. She was a lead singer in the Sydney 2000 Oympics. Kumuntjai's personal Tjukurrpa (Dreaming) was Tjilkamata - the porcupine. Her story is told in bright colours often utilising orange and yellow to mirror the ochres that are used in ceremonial body painting. In her Tjukurrpa story there is often the porcupine scurrying about rock holes and hiding places looking for tucker while nearby the women are themselves hunting, laying in wait for the porcupine.
Art centre - Ikuntji Artists
Ikuntji Artists is located in Haasts Bluff community, which is 230km west of Alice Springs, in the West MacDonnell Ranges. Ikuntji Artists was the first art centre established for women of the Western Desert art movement. Ikuntji Artists has many internationally renowned artists, who are represented in galleries and institutions around the world. Their art is famous for bold colour choice, decisive brush strokes, and rich cultural storytelling.