Clifford POSSUM TJAPALTJARRI - Ngarlu Love Story
Clifford POSSUM TJAPALTJARRI - Ngarlu Love Story

Clifford POSSUM TJAPALTJARRI - Ngarlu Love Story

1994, 58 x 63.5cm Edition 2/50 ADG:3719

ADG: 3719



Ngarlu Love Story, 1994
Signed Clifford Possum and dated (lower right) and bears title and edition number 2/50 (lower left)
Etching on paper
58 x 63.5 cm
Printed by the Australian Print Workshop, Melbourne in 1994
This artwork tells of a young Tjungurrayi man who fell in love with a Napangati woman, however she was the wrong skin group and was not allowed to marry him. The Tjungurrayi man returned to his campsite to perform love magic. He created a painting in the sand and cut his hair. He began to spin his hair into an unbroken length of string and then sang a love song to the woman. Throwing the spindle towards her, and with its long length of spun hair, he drew her to his campsite The tribal elders then recognised the Tjungurrayi love-magic as being too strong and they approved the marriage as a result. The iconography in this story depicts the man, shown as the U-shape, with the spindle and its long hair-string, together with the footprints of the couple.

c.1932 - 2002

Anmatyerre, Arrernte
Napperby, Mount Allan - Yuelumu
Papunya, Alice Springs
Karinyarra- Mount Wedge, Tjuirri- Napperby Station, Mount Allan
Art Centre
Papunya Tula Artists
Western Desert, Northern Territory
Possum, Fire, Kangaroo, Fish, Snake, Man's Love Story, Goanna, Water, Mala, Lightning

Clifford was born on Napperby Station. From the 1940s he carved and decorated weapons such as boomerangs and bullroarers with landscape scenes for sale to tourists. Clifford and his brother Tim Leura, also a famous artist were moved to a new settlement at Papunya, which had been established in 1959 because of the British atomic bomb tests in the Western Desert from 1955 to 1963.

Clifford and Tim Leura became members of the first group of artists to join Geoffrey Bardon’s painting group and the newly formed Papunya Tula Artists company. Clifford later became the Chairman of Papunya Tula Artists. A very quiet private man, he was generous in his gifts to his extended family. Clifford is survived by his artist children, Gabriella, Michelle and Lionel.

National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, ACT, Australia
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, SA, Australia
Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth, WA, Australia
Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, QLD, Australia
Parliament House Art Collection, Canberra, ACT, Australia
South Australian Museum, Adelaide, SA, Australia
Flinders University Art Museum, Adelaide, SA, Australia
Berndt Museum of Anthropology, University of Western Australia, Perth, WA, Australia
Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery, Broken Hill, NSW, Australia
Artbank, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Federal Airports Corporation, Alice Springs Airport, Alice Springs, NT, Australia
The Holmes à Court Collection, Perth, WA, Australia
Pacific Asia Museum, Los Angeles, USA
Donald Kahn Collection, Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami, USA
The Kelton Foundation, Santa Monica, CA, USA

Vivian Johnson, The Art of Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri, 1994

1970s-1980s Chairman, Papunya Tula Artists Company, NT

1985 Mural Design, Araluen Centre, Alice Springs, NT
1991 Mural - Strehlow Research Foundation, Alice Springs, NT
1991 Mural - Painting, Passenger Lounge, new Alice Springs Airport, Alice Springs, NT

Awards, Prizes
1983 The Alice Prize, Alice Springs
2002 Order of Australia -AO

Ranking - Most Important Aboriginal Artists (Both living and deceased)
2011 Ranked 4/100

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