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David Corby Tjapaltjarri, 1975

This painting depicts a men’s Dreaming that passed through a waterhole site called Matjatji before continuing to Kunatjarri. The ceremony at Matjatji involved young initiates receiving instruction from an elder, represented by the U shape, with the sinuous line indicating the track followed by the initiates during the ceremony.

The arc shapes, which are the body paint symbols applied to the participants’ legs, are further reflected in the ground pattern.

Combination of an image of an artwork and a line drawing.

Discussion questions

This picture was painted outside in desert country with the canvas on the ground.

Why do you think the artist used these colours?

Do these colours remind you of desert country?

What colours would you use to paint the area you are from?

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