1989/0017 Honey ant ancestors

Honey ant ancestors

Artist

Tim TJAPALTJARRI
Indigenous

Artwork

Title
Honey ant ancestors
Date
1974
Medium/Material
synthetic polymer paint on canvas board
Dimensions
76 x 56cm (Height x Width x Depth)
Credit line
Gift of The Rothmans Foundation, 1989
State Art Collection, Art Gallery of Western Australia
Accession Number
1989/0017
Currently not on display

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Curatorial insightThe Honey Ant is an important Ancestor, as it comes from the earth and returns to the earth as all Ancestors have done for thousands of generations since the Dreaming. Honey Ant designs are usually symmetrical, and the centre system of circles is identical to the dyed plant-fibre designs used in traditional body decorations. This is the nest of the Honey Ant, and the radiating wavy lines are its tracks and circlings. The U-shapes are Honey Ant Men gathering honey. The Honey Ant Ancestral Dreaming site is located in a big waterhole south of Napperby Station in the northern part of central Australia. It is the site of important ceremonies carried out to ensure the continuing supply of honey ants, a vital source of sugar for Indigenous people in the area. (Perkins and Fink, Papunya Tula: Genesis and Genius, 2000)

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Vernon id: 7927