Papunya Tula: Celebrating 40 in Style

Celebrations in Alice Springs are underway.  The annual Papunya Tula Artists November exhibition at the Todd Mall gallery opened on November 16 with the usual round of speeches, good food (from the looks of the party pictures posted on the PTA website, with caterers wearing t-shirts proclaiming just that–“mangarri palya” or “good cooking”), and eager buyers ready to partake in a very special 40th anniversary gala.

As always, the quality of the works on display is outstanding, with major works by, among others, Warlimpirringa Tjapaltjarri, Patrick Tjungurrayi, Walangkura Napanangka, Bobby West Tjupurrula, and Yukultji Napangati.  There’s a whole suite of wonderful small paintings by Johnny Yungut Tjupurrula, and a lovely selection of canvases by Kawayi Nampitjinpa.  There are a few surprises: some lovely works by the late Martin Nampitjinpa, and a Pegleg Tjampitjinpa; a glowing golden 2006 canvas from the brush of Frank Ward Tjupurrula and a pair of small paintings that demonstrate PTA’s ties to Warlpiri iconography from Paddy Lewis Tjapanangka.  All in all, one would think that the riches of the Central Desert could hardly be better served, as the slide show below demonstrates.  My thanks to perennial PTA enthusiast and friend Glenn, who shared his snaps with me to share with all of you.  I’ve included in the slide show a couple of images that PTA manager Paul Sweeney gave me permission to snag from the photos posted on the PTA website, of artists and family and a special birthday cake featuring designs by Kawayi.  The festivities continue on the Mall until December 3.

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There’s more news from Alice and Papunya Tula Artists to report on, but due to some technical limitations in the WordPress software, I’m going to have to split this into two posts.  Be sure to check out the article right below this one.

Before you do that, though, have a look at the party in this video posted by Alice Springs News editor Erwin Chlanda.

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