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Important new Papunya women's film

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Important new Papunya women's film

24 Mar 2017

By Lily Withycombe and Vivien Johnson

Celebrating ceremony and the power of place

The Streets of Papunya exhibition was a remarkable opportunity for two senior Papunya women to be reunited with a rare and beautiful example of a women’s ground painting.

This short film captures the significance of the painting and the reconnection of two contemporary custodians of Papunya's Dreamings with the work, on the first occasion it had been on public display since it was acquired by the National Museum 25 years earlier.

The film highlights the ingenuity of the National Museum’s Registration and Conservation teams’ approach to installing the large work at the Australian National University's Drill Hall Gallery. The film features insights into the cultural and historical significance of the painting from Streets of Papunya curator Vivien Johnson.

Above all, it is senior cultural custodian Tilau Nangala’s interaction with the artwork and the ceremonial objects which accompany it, as well as her insights into the ritual significance of the ground painting, which bring a new depth of understanding to this remarkable work.

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