With the artists knowledge of body and sand painting associated with ceremonies dating back through millennia, Papunya Tula Artist’s engagement is unmistakable.
Entirely owned and directed by the Luritja and Pintupi groups from Australia’s central western desert, the company these days represents around 120 artists. With artworks held in most Australian public galleries, museums, institutions and private collections, Papunya Tula Artists is also well represented internationally and has a keen following.
In Papunya Tula Artists words, “The aim of the company is to promote individual artists, provide economic development for the communities to which they belong, and assist in the maintenance of a rich cultural heritage.”
Once Papunya Tula’s artworks were exposed to the public, the removal of sacred signs and symbols
was necessary, along with careful observation of ancestral designs appropriate to be viewed.
Papunya Tula Artists was recognised as an ‘art movement’ from 1971 when the school teacher Geoffrey Bardon encouraged men in the community of Papunya to paint a blank school wall where their children were taking lessons. In 1972 the artists established their own company.