Malara: Wanampi Tjukurpa
acrylic on Belgian linen
200 x 183 cm
Private Collection, Sydney
© The artist and Kaltjiti Arts
Malara is the place of the Wanampi Tjukurpa - Water Serpent Dreaming - in the far west of the APY Lands. Taylor was born at this important site making the Malara Wanampi his Tjukurpa totemic ancestor. Taylor is Nguraritja, a traditional custodian of this story.
Taylor explains: “That Wanampi came from Malara. He went to Kunytjanu near Pipalyatjara. From Kunytjanu that Wanampi kept walking, walking. He came to Tjuntun (Kutjupa – different to Tjuntun at Fregon.) near Watarru. He threw one spear and made that rockhole. He went right in that rockhole and then he travelled back to Malara."
Born: 1940 Malara near Pipalyatjara, SA
Pitjantjatjara language group
Art Centre: Kaltjiti Arts, Kaltjiti (Fregon)
Taylor’s birthplace is at Malara, a waterhole east of Pipalyatjara. His mother was from the region referred to as Ilturn near Coffin Hill. The site is associated with traditional men’s ceremony. Taylor’s father was from Pipalyatjara, located in the north-western region of South Australia, very close to the Western Australian border.
Taylor is an important senior tribesman and he is a recognised custodian of traditional Aboriginal law and culture. He has never married and his disposition reflects a quiet dignity of a senior man. Taylor holds a responsibility as uncle to his two sisters’ children.
Taylor began painting at the Kaltjiti Arts centre in 2009. It was soon recognised that his paintings contained a strong representation of Tribal knowledge. His painting refers to the creation stories or Tjukurpa associated with the traditional homelands of his mother and father. An expert craftsman, Taylor continues to make the traditional hunting weapons of aboriginal men, particularly kulata (spears) and kulata miru (spear throwers).