Don Tjungurrayi has been painting since the early 1970’s with Papunya Tula Art Centre, alongside great artists such as Paddy Carroll and many others. Before moving to Papunya, he worked as a stockman for many years.
In this painting, Don depicts a Rainbow Dreaming. Dreaming refers to an ancestral story of the creation period when mythical ancestors of the Aboriginals created the world as we know it. In these stories lie the basis for the religion, law and moral systems of Aboriginal life. This panting is about water, rain, shaping landscapes and naming and singing of places within the landscape. This dreaming takes place at a rock hole site near Kintore, the remote community close to the Northern Territory/Western Australia border.
The concentric circle in the centre of the work represents the rock hole and the lines represent the rainbow coming to meet the rock hole and the rainbow being reflected in the water. This rock hole is a men’s ceremonial site predominantly for initiation. This sacred site was a resting place for the Tingari Men (ancestral beings) as they cross the vast desert.
Don Tjungurrayi was born at the Bungalow in Alice Springs Telegraph Station in Australia, the year that World War two broke out. When the government establish the community of Yuendumu, Don and his family moved there and this is where Don attended school. He was initiated near Haast’s Bluff and then began working as a stockman and fencing contractor on various stations, including Hamilt . . .