Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi - Exhibiting Contemporary Australian Aboriginal Art

Kaltjiti Arts

Songs of Their Tjukurpa

Kaltjiti artists sing country, dance country and paint the songs of their land.
The artists of Kaltjiti live at Freegon, a small settlement in the far northwest of South Australia. However the country they paint is not confinned to the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands but stretches across the Great Victoria Desert.The songlines of their their Tjukurpa, Dreaming and traditional law, traverse the northwest corner of South Australia and cross into Western Australia and the southwest of the Northern Territory travelling through Uluru, north to Areyonga and east to Finke.
The paintings of the Kaltjiti artists are intoned with the songs of their Tjukurpa, the song sagas of their Creation Ancestors. Each artist is a traditional owner and custodian of significant sites and tracts of country along these songlines. Each artist paints only the songs, stories and sites for which they have inherited or bestowed rights. They have the authority to paint the Tjukurpa of the place of their birth, the country of their mother, father, grandmother or grandfather, or country and song sagas that have been passed on to their custodianship.
Painting the song of the land is only possible for people who hear music when they see country. The Anangu artist’s perception is synaesthetic: hearing the songs produces mental visual images of country; seeing painted symbols invokes a chorus of many voices, hands clapping and feet stamping, flooding the brain with song.

Condensed from ‘Introduction to Kaltjiti Art’ from Painting the Song by Diana James, published by McCulloch & McCulloch Art Books 2009

ACGA - Australian Commercial Galleries Association