‘The People of the Sun (Tjintu) and Shadow (Kanku) are the Spinifex People today.
The men paint the bridge of their nose with ochre in consubstantiation with the bill of the birds they are descended from. The duality embodies their association with the land, defines their kinship and is the vertebrae of their religion. That association with land, Law and people continued, cocooned within the spinifex plains of the Western Desert, for another 200 generations until the Spinifex People were shaken from their nomadic solitude by the atomic shock of Maralinga.’ (Scott Cane, p.37, Sun and Shadow ed. John Carty and Luke Scholes, Upswell Publishing, 2023)
‘The idea of an artist meditating on their muse in heroic isolation is alien to desert people. Spinifex People design their lives around never being alone. Their preference is to always have malpa. Malpa when sleeping, eating, travelling and painting. This is the cultural principle that trumps gender, Country or any other factor in desert art. The history of Spinifex painting reveals the creative and conceptual centrality of cooperation and collaboration that is fundamental to the lives of Anangu and their artistic practice.’ (John Carty and Luke Scholes, Sun and Shadow, p.193, Upswell Publishing, 2023)
This exhibition of paintings from the Spinifex People is enriched by the recently published volume Sun and Shadow, Art of the Spinifex People, edited by John Carty and Luke Scholes. Exhibition is presented in association with Spinifex Arts Project. The artworks are on exhibition at Japingka Gallery until 31 October 2023.