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Slava and Leonard spent time looking through the National Museum’s significant collection of First Nations art before choosing Story of the Women’s Camp and the Origin of Damper by Anatjari Tjakamarra.

Journey Women

The 1973 painting 'Story of the Women’s Camp and the Origin of Damper' by Anatjari Tjakamarra and how it inspired the Grigoryan Brothers composition. Courtesy ABC Classic
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Presenters: Slava and Leonard Grigoryan with Margo Neale and Alice Keath

Women on an epic journey

The evocative score tells the story of a group of women on an epic journey. It reflects a sense of awe while also attempting to aurally capture the complex geography and design represented in the work.

Story of the Women’s Camp and the Origin of Damper, painted by Anatjari Tjakamarra in 1973, depicts a journey undertaken by a group of women whose Ancestral forces shaped the desert landscape.

The linear array of squares represents the path they travelled, and the circles are the dampers they made from wild seeds. The circles are joined by a connecting grid that links the exploits of the women to a wider network of Pintupi sites and people.

Anatjari Tjakamarra lived a foraging life remote from Europeans until 1966. Within 5 years of arriving in Papunya he was among the first artists to begin painting with acrylics.

This painting marks a brief transitional phase in the history of the Papunya painting movement between the small, irregular-sized wooden boards of the early years and the large stretched canvases for which Papunya is famous today.

Story of the Women’s Camp and the Origin of Damper up close 03:24

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Explore works in the National Museum's collection by Papunya artists including Anatjari Tjakamarra.

In our collection

Story of the Women's Camp and the Origin of DamperA dot painting on composition board, featuring five concentric red squares painted vertically down the middle. In each square are black concentric circles. To the left and right of the squares are three columns of ovals made of dots that are predominately orange or blue. Some of the ovals contain a brown centre. The ovals are li...
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