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in 
partnership 
with
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This website was developed for the exhibition Irriṯitja Kuwarri Tjungu | Past & Present Together: Fifty Years of Papunya Tula Artists that was on view at the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection of the University of Virginia from 2021-23 and the Embassy of Australia in Washington, DC in 2024. It was made possible by our creative partnership with Papunya Tula Artists and the generous support of UVA Arts Council. Site design by Urban Fugitive for V21 Artspace.

Resources and More

LESSON PLANS

In collaboration with the Art Gallery of South Australia, Kluge-Ruhe has developed two lesson plans to accompany this online gallery, designed to be scaled for pre-K, elementary, middle school and high school level classrooms.
PAPUNYA TULA LESSON PLAN 1: Family Stories, Patterns and Experimentation
[pdf download]

This lesson explores themes of dotting, symbolism, story-telling, map-making, art materials and more, looking in a focused way at two paintings from Papunya Tula Artists.
PAPUNYA TULA LESSON PLAN 2: Aerial Perspective, Connection to Place and Innovation
[pdf download]

This lesson explores themes around map-making, aerial perspective, connecting to place, environmental sustainability, symbolism, types of knowledge and more, looking in a focused way at two paintings from Papunya Tula Artists.
We recommend you pay very close attention to these lesson plans and do not divert from the general themes. Many teachers across the United States and the world are creating or adapting lesson plans around artwork from this movement in a way that is culturally appropriative, insensitive and offensive. It’s very easy to move from encouraging your students to be inspired by themes and techniques to lessons that encourage copying symbols and perpetuating stereotypes. We’ve designed these lesson plans to help avoid this.

We recommend that you also consult our Aboriginal Art 101 page for a list of FAQs about Aboriginal art generally and our Cultural Appropriation 101 page for more information on remaining respectful. If you want more specific thoughts on your approach or lesson, please contact us at kluge-ruhe@virginia.edu.

A note for teachers in Australia: It can be easy to use a resource like this rather than seeking partnerships and collaboration with your local Indigenous group and exploring the diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art in your classroom, which is what we would recommend. We highly suggest you purchase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art in the Classroom to inform your teaching.

EXHIBITION

Irrititja Kuwarri Tjungu | Past & Present Together: Fifty Years of Papunya Tulan Artists is an exhibition curated by Henry Skerritt, curator at the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection of the University of Virginia, for its gallery spaces in Charlottesville, Virginia from 2021-2023. The Embassy of Australia in Washington, DC will open the exhibition in its newly built embassy beginning in 2024.

EXHIBITION CATALOG

Kluge-Ruhe published a fully illustrated catalog in combination with this resource and the exhibition. Edited by Fred Myers and Henry Skerritt and published by the University of Virginia press, it includes contributions by John Kean, Steve Martin, Elizabeth Marks Nakamarra, Narlie Nelson Nakamarra, Eileen Napaltjarri, Charlotte Phillipus Napurrula, Punata Stockman Nungurrayi, Rachel Paltridge, Hetti Perkins, Cara Pinchbeck, Margo Smith, Marina Strocchi, Paul Sweeney, Morris Jackson Tjampitjinpa, Joseph Jurra Tjapaltjarri, Bobby West Tjupurrula and Jodie Napurrula Ward. It is priced at $29.95 USD.

Click here to purchase the catalog

SPONSORS

We are grateful to Paul Sweeney and Papunya Tula Artists for being a partner and collaborator on this project, and to UVA Arts Council for funding this online resource.

The exhibition Irrititja Kuwarri Tjungu (Past & Present Together) is sponsored by the Robert and Molly Hardie and the H7 Foundation, The Gordon Darling Foundation, Australian Cultural Fund, Stephen and Agatha Luczo, the Embassy of Australia, the UVA Parents Fund, the UVA Institute of Humanities and Global Cultures, the UVA Mapping Indigenous Worlds Lab, and the UVA Department of Art.

FURTHER RESOURCES

To purchase artwork from Papunya Tula Artists, visit their website.
FILM AND TELEVISION
• Art + Soul. Directed by Warwick Thornton. Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 2010.

• Mr. Patterns. Directed by Catriona McKenzie. Film Australia, 2004.

• Remembering Yayayi. Directed by Pip Devenson, Ian Dunlop and Fred Myers. Documentary Educational Resources, 2014.

• The World about Us. Season 11, episode 9, “The Desert Dreamers.” Produced by the British Broadcasting Company. Aired April 2, 1977, on BBC Two.

BOOKS
• Amadio, Nadine, and Richard Kimber. Wildbird Dreaming: Aboriginal Art from the Central Deserts of Australia. Melbourne: Greenhouse Publications, 1988.

• Auckland City Art Gallery. The Painted Dream: Contemporary Aboriginal Paintings from the Tim and Vivien Johnson Collection. Auckland: Auckland City Gallery, 1990.

• Bardon, Geoffrey. Aboriginal Art of the Western Desert. Adelaide: Rigby, 1979.

• Bardon, Geoffrey. Papunya Tula: Art of the Western Desert. Marleston, SA: Gecko Books, 1991.

• Bardon, Geoffrey, and James Bardon. Papunya: A Place Made after the Story: The Beginnings of the Western Desert Painting Movement. Carlton, VIC: University of Melbourne Press, 2004.

• Benjamin, Roger, ed. Icons of the Desert: Early Aboriginal Painting from Papunya. Ithaca, NY: Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, 2009.

• Brody, Annemarie. Face of the Centre: Papunya Tula Paintings 1971–84. Melbourne: National Gallery of Victoria, 1985.

• Carty, John, ed. Patrick Tjungurrayi: Beyond Borders. Crawley: University of Western Australia Press, 2015.

• Crocker, Andrew. Mr Sandman Bring Me a Dream. Alice Springs, NT: Aboriginal Artists Agency with Papunya Tula Artists Pty Ltd, 1981.

• Johnson, Vivien. The Art of Clifford Possum. East Roseville, NSW: Craftsman House, 1994.

• Johnson, Vivien. Lives of the Papunya Tula Artists. Alice Springs, NT: IAD Press, 2008.

• Johnson, Vivien. Michael Jagamara Nelson. Roseville, NSW: Craftsman House, 1997.

• Johnson, Vivien. Once Upon a Time in Papunya. Sydney: University of New South Wales Press, 2010.

• Johnson, Vivien, ed. Papunya Painting: Out of the Desert. Canberra: National Museum of Australia Press, 2007.

• Kimber, Richard. Friendly Country—Friendly People: An Exhibition of Aboriginal Artworks from the Peoples of the Tanami and Great Sandy Deserts. Alice Springs, NT: Araluen Arts Centre, 1990.

• Mellor, Doreen, and Vincent Megaw. Twenty-Five Years and Beyond: Papunya Tula Painting. Adelaide: Flinders University Art Museum, 1999.

• Munn, Nancy. Walbiri Iconography: Graphic Representation and Cultural Symbolism in a Central Australian Society. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1973.

• Myers, Fred. Painting Culture: The Making of an Aboriginal High Art. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2002.

• Myers, Fred. Pintupi Country, Pintupi Self: Sentiment, Place, and Politics among Western Desert Aborigines. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1986.

• O’Halloran, Alec. The Master from Marnpi: Mick Namarari Tjapaltjarri. Sydney: LifeDesign, Australia, 2018.

• Papunya Tula Artists. Nganana Tjungurringanyi Tjukurrpa Nintintjakitja: We Are Here Sharing Our Dreaming. Alice Springs, NT, New York and Sun Valley, ID: Papunya Tula Artists, NYU Steinhardt and Harvey Art Projects, 2009.

• Perkins, Hetti, and Hannah Fink. Papunya Tula: Genesis and Genius. Sydney: Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2000.

• Ryan, Judith. Mythscapes: Aboriginal Art of the Desert from the National Gallery of Victoria. Melbourne: National Gallery of Victoria, 1989.

• Ryan, Judith, and Philip Batty. Tjukurrtjanu: Origins of Western Desert Art. Melbourne: National Gallery of Victoria, 2011.

• Scholes, Luke, ed. Tjungunutja: From Having Come Together. Darwin: Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, 2017.

• Weber, John. Papunya Tula: Contemporary Paintings from Australia’s Western Desert. New York. John Weber Gallery, 1989.

• Williamson, Stephen. Unique Perspectives: Papunya Tula Artists and the Alice Springs Community. Alice Springs, NT: Araluen Art Centre and Papunya Tula Artists, 2012.