Desert Country


First Nation Group:             Pintupi
Area:              Palinpalintjanya
Born:             c.1949
Charlie Tjapangati was born in c.1949 at Palinpalintjanya, north west of Juniper Well. He, and his family, moved to Papunya in 1964 as a fully initiated young man. It was here that he worked in construction of the settlement for rations. Charlie Tjapangati commenced painting for Papanya Tula in 1978, having observed the older men for years. Charlie travelled to the USA for an exhibition in the years after with well known Aboriginal Artist Billy Stockman. In 1982 Charlie moved to the Pintupi settlement of Kintore. His works generally depict the significant ceremonial story of the Tingari Cycle. The surface narrative elements that are often termed the painting’s ‘story’ or ‘Dreaming’ are only one level of an Aboriginal painting’s true significance. The imagery employed by Aboriginal artists has a deep cultural resonance that often defies simple logic or narrative interpretation. However, the western viewer can intuitively feel the power of this spiritual resonance without necessarily having to understand the details, which are essentially for the initiated only. The Tingari Cycle is a secret song cycle sacred to initiated men. The Tingari are Dreamtime Beings who travelled across the landscape performing ceremonies to create and shape the country associated with Dreaming sites. The Tingari ancestors gathered at these sites for Maliera or initiation rite of passage ceremonies. The sites take the form of, and are located at, significant rockholes, sand hills, sacred mountains and water soakages in the western desert. Tingari may be understood as song-line paintings relating to the songs (of the people) and creation stories (of places) in Pintupi Lore.

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