The Papunya Permanent Collection of 94 early western desert paintings was sold to the Australian Museum by Papunya Tula Artists Pty Ltd in 1983 on condition that it remain together for future generations of Aboriginal people to visit and view the collection. The paintings came with little or no documentation. This report documents what happened when now well-known, mature artists were asked to “look back” to a time when the art movement was in its infancy, struggling to survive. Many paintings brought back memories of Country, Dreamings and passed-away artists. At the date of publication, only two of the artists are still alive. This invaluable information has enriched an already historically important collection of early Western Desert art.
Please note: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this publication may relate to religious beliefs, death, burial practices or initiation ceremonies and rites; or it may contain images or names of deceased persons or images that may be regarded as unsuitable for children.