This design shows the acacia trees in Kumuntjai's country, Talaalpi, which is located beyond the Kintore/Kiwikurra road near the West Australian and Northern Territory border. This is the country where her father and mother used to travel by foot when she was a young girl. The place was of great spiritual significance to Kumuntjai and her father’s family as it contains both, personal and tribal law to which Kumuntjai related in her work. When it rains at Taalalpi, water collects between the sandhills, providing sustenance for her porcupine.
Tjilkamata (porcupine) is Kumuntjai's own personal Tjukurrpa (Dreaming).
She returned to her country for a visit in late 2005.
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.