Kunmanara (Pungkai) Bertani
Pungkai - OneLand

Kunmanara P. Bertani
One Land One Law, 2016
acrylic on canvas
H190.5 cm x W176 cm

 

Art code GZ/PUN-OneLand

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Further Details

Pungkai feels that the government is using policy to force people off their traditional homelands. This painting is his statement to remind policy makers that Aboriginal land is not for sale. Because governments do not know the songs and culture associated with the land, Pungkai feels that they are not qualified to make decisions about traditional Country.

Diverging from his usual practice of depicting a particular place, this landscape represents the whole of Australia. The triangular shape towards the top left corner symbolises Piltati/Nyapari, and just above that is a Wati (man) with his spear. 

Pungkai 0066

Kunmanara P. Bertani
Tali Tjuta, 2015
acrylic on canvas
145.5cm X 97.5cm

 

Art code GZ/PUN0066

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Pungkai 0065

Kunmanara P. Bertani
Colour My Country, 2015
acrylic on canvas
173 x 183 cm
Collection: Lipman Karas, Hong Kong

Art code GZ/PUN0065

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Further Details

“Time and space dictates quality of human expansion VS the sustainability of human kind in its environment. We have nowhere to go. Time and space diminishes our long term sustainable existence on one planet.” - Pungkai.

Pungkai 00582012

Kunmanara P. Bertani
Nyapari Ngura Wiru, 2012
acrylic on canvas
H179.8 x W278.9 cm

Art code GZCED/0058

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Further Details

When Country Arts SA commissioned Pungkai to paint a work for its touring exhibition tough(er) love on Eyre Peninsula artists, Pungkai chose a theme close to his heart: Nyapari. Home to Tjungu Palya art centre, it is where he learnt to paint, and it is to this place that his thoughts return when he is off-country.

In Nyarpari Ngura Wiru (lit. Nyapari Country beautiful), Pungkai has rendered the vast topography in intense and majestic detail. Drifts of yellow flicks mimic the spinifex plains surrounding the community. To the east are the dry creek beds wending through rocky hillocks. Piltadi’s perpetual connection to Nyapari is seen to the north-east; it is also the origin of his name, given to him by Kunmanara Stevens. The country to the west heads towards Kanpi, homelands of the Baker family and the Emu tjukurrpa. Pungkai speaks of Nyarpari as “good country, it is our home and it is good to us”. Nestled in the foothills of the Mann Ranges, it is breathtakingly beautiful and serene.

This painting was first exhibited at Flinders University Art Museum City Gallery, Adelaide in February 2012 and then toured regional South Australia. tough(er) love tours throughout South Australia until 2015, however the small venues are unable to accommodate such a major painting in a comprehensive group show. Pungkai will be represented in the remainder of the tour with a smaller painting.

Pungkai is represented in the Art Gallery of South Australia, Artbank, Edith Cowan University and significant private collections.

Publications

tough(er) love. Art from Eyre Peninsula, John Neylon (curator), Country Arts SA, exhibition catalogue, 2013.

Pungkai 0063

Kunmanara P. Bertani
Wanampi Tjukurpa Piltadi, 2013
Acrylic on canvas
106.5 x 167 cm

Art code GZCED/P0063

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Pungkai 0064

Kunmanara P. Bertani
Tali Tjuta (Many Sandhills), 2013
Acrylic on canvas
174 x 169.5 cm

Art code GZCED/P0064

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Further Details

Tali Tjuta is about a place north of Ceduna. There are red sand hills in the north and white sand hills to the south. The Country then continues until it meets the Great Australian Bight. The midpoint is Ooldea, as it represents a special place where people from hundreds of kilometres away would gather, and where the red sands and white sands meet. Lake Ifold, the salt lake depicted at the centre, is an important place for ceremony.

Pungkai 0065

Kunmanara P. Bertani
Longa Longa Time, I bin Mine My Business, Now Everyone Cummin Mine My Business, 2013
Acrylic and plastic objects on canvas
185 x 191 cm

Art code GZCED/P0065

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Pungkai 0065 detail

Kunmanara P. Bertani
Longa Longa Time, I bin Mine My Business, Now Everyone Cummin Mine My Business, 2013 [detail]

Art code GZCED/P0065

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Pungkai 0066

Kunmanara P. Bertani
El Dorado, "I know it's here, somewhere?", 2013
Acrylic on canvas
182 x 172 cm

Art code GZCED/P0066

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Pungkai 0053

Kunmanara P. Bertani
Walpa Tjukurpa (Wind Story), 2012
Acrylic on canvas
170 x 172 cm

 

Art code GZCED/P0053

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Further Details

Artist's statement:

When I sit down alone in the bush or town, I like to feel and hear the wind. Different winds mean change, today is today, tomorrow not there yet. Sometimes I think “Hey, what story does it bring me, might be good, might be sad.” Country changes, different smells, looks and what tucker (food) is going and coming.  Every day, every season. Different, just like you and me.

The quadrants represent the seasons and the different patterning suggest the changes to the environment that each season brings. Wind ushers in the change of season.

Pungkai 0033

Kunmanara P. Bertani
Tali Tjuta (Red Sands meet White Sands), 2010
Acrylic on canvas
176 x 305 cm
Collection: Artbank

Art code GZCED/P0033

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Further Details

Artist’s statement:

This piece celebrates the journeys of our Noongah ancestors from the Southern Ocean to Ooldea in South Australia.

More recently to celebrate the life of Kunmanara (Eileen) Stevens from Nyapari. Munju (Mother) used to sit and tell a lot of stories. One in particular about a family travelling from the Mann Ranges on foot to Watarru, Oak valley, Ooldea and Head of Bight. Lots of spinifex, sand hills and bush lands covering red sand hill country in the north, and white sand hills in the south to the ocean. No Nike them days.

Many stories criss-cross Australia. Our song and dance are still here. We have ceremony to pass and keep alive. Technology is our modern tool.

Pungkai 0021

Kunmanara P. Bertani
Boddington = BT, 2009
Acrylic on canvas
197.5 x 220 cm
Provenance: Ceduna Aboriginal Arts and Cultural Centre
Collection: Art Gallery of South Australia

Art code GZCED/P0021

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Further Details

Artist's statement:

My country has changed since mining began. The centre (yellow) is representative of a sacred stone, (donut shaped). I sometimes think, is it still there? What about the little spirit people and other places and stories. Mmm, Native Title, sell your birth right for progress. Funny, that letter “P”, no wonder we are cooking in our own Progress, just like P and ham soup.

This sacred stone was photographed in the late 70’s by the Aboriginal Heritage mob. At least we still have a picture.

Pungkai 0028

Kunmanara P. Bertani
Piltadi Wanampi Tjulkurpa, 2009
Acrylic on canvas
316 x 188 cm

Art code GZCED/P0028

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Further Details

Artist's statement:

The two brothers married two sisters who ended up going south for a long time. When they returned the two brothers got angry. One day the brothers were sleeping and the sisters didn't like their husbands and wanted to kill them with their wanna (women's digging stick). One stick pierced one of the brother's side.

They got really angry and chased the two wives. When they got them, they didn t want to kill them because they still loved them, so they just swallowed them whole instead. This part of the painting is on the bottom right as a large circled area.

Pungkai 006

Kunmanara P. Bertani
My Noongah Beginning, 2008
Acrylic on canvas
196 x 200 cm

Art code GZCED/P006

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Further Details

Artist's statement:

The red circle top right is the little spirit place; the circle on the left of this is a Nganga brook, (deep water hole) of Wakal, the rainbow serpent. The left corner circle depicts my birthplace, Boddington. Boyagin rock is represented by the red circle in the immediate centre left. This is the home of Wakal, and my Grandfather’s and mother’s Country who were born in Brookton. The circle on the bottom left is the water hole on the old Ninyette block; this is where Wakal passed through.

The three circles on the bottom right of the painting from top to bottom are Lake Serpentine, Lake Cooloongup and Lake Richmond at the bottom.

Wakal then travelled to the ocean and back and then around to Swan River. Wakal then travelled to the northern Country.

These regions also have mining activities such as bauxite near Serpentine and Pinjarra. Boddington, my birthplace, also has a large gold mining industry.

Pungkai 0018

Kunmanara P. Bertani
Tali Tjuta (Red Sands meet White Sands), 2009
Acrylic on canvas
200 x 117.5 cm

Art code GZCED/P0018

15 of 21
Further Details

Artist's statement:

This piece celebrates the journeys of our Noongah ancestors from the Southern Ocean to Ooldea in South Australia.

More recently to celebrate the life of Kunmanara (Eileen) Stevens from Nyapari. Munju (Mother) used to sit and tell a lot of stories. One in particular about a family travelling from the Mann Ranges on foot to Watarru, Oak valley, Ooldea and Head of Bight. Lots of spinifex, sand hills and bush lands covering red sand hill country in the north, and white sand hills in the south to the ocean. No Nike them days.

Many stories criss-cross Australia. Our song and dance are still here. We have ceremony to pass and keep alive. Technology is our modern tool.

Pungkai 0019

Kunmanara P. Bertani
Nyapari, 2009
Acrylic on canvas
114 x 94.5 cm

Art code GZCED/P0019

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Further Details

Artist's statement:

This painting depicts the area of Nyapari, where the Stevens family live and Tjungu Palya art centre is located. It lies at the foot of the Mann Ranges and is surrounded by spinfex plains and a network of creeks. To the east of Nyapari is the sacred waterhole Piltati, of which the Stevens family is a traditional custodian.

Pungkai moved to Nyapari in 1980 when it was still a homeland with no infrastructure. The Stevens family was living in wiltja, traditional shelters, while they were lobbying the government for permanent housing and services.

Pungkai 0022

Kunmanara P. Bertani
Wanampi Kutjara - Piltadi (Two Water Snakes), 2009
Acrylic on canvas
198 x 198 cm

Art code GZCED/P0022

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Further Details

Artist's statement:

The two brothers married two sisters who ended up going south for a long time. When they returned the two brothers got angry. One day the brothers were sleeping and the sisters didn't like their husbands and wanted to kill them with their wanna (women's digging stick). One stick pierced one of the brother's side.

They got really angry and chased the two wives. When they got them, they didn t want to kill them because they still loved them, so they just swallowed them whole instead. This part of the painting is on the bottom right as a large circled area.

Pungkai 0029

Kunmanara P. Bertani
Tali Tjuta (Red Sands meet White Sands), 2010
Acrylic on canvas
248 x 183 cm

Art code GZCED/P0029

18 of 21
Further Details

Artist’s statement:

This piece celebrates the journeys of our Noongah ancestors from the Southern Ocean to Ooldea in South Australia.

More recently to celebrate the life of Kunmanara (Eileen) Stevens from Nyapari. Munju (Mother) used to sit and tell a lot of stories. One in particular about a family travelling from the Mann Ranges on foot to Watarru, Oak valley, Ooldea and Head of Bight. Lots of spinifex, sand hills and bush lands covering red sand hill country in the north, and white sand hills in the south to the ocean. No Nike them days.

Many stories criss-cross Australia. Our song and dance are still here. We have ceremony to pass and keep alive. Technology is our modern tool.

Pungkai 0042

Kunmanara P. Bertani
Walpa Tjukurpa (Wind Story), 2011
Acrylic on canvas
123 x 171 cm

Art code GZCED/P0042

19 of 21
Further Details

Artist's statement:

When I sit down alone in the bush or town, I like to feel and hear the wind. Different winds mean change, today is today, tomorrow not there yet. Sometimes I think “Hey, what story does it bring me, might be good, might be sad.” Country changes, different smells, looks and what tucker (food) is going and coming.  Every day, every season. Different, just like you and me.

The quadrants represent the seasons and the different patterning suggest the changes to the environment that each season brings. Wind ushers in the change of season.

Pungkai 0055

Kunmanara P. Bertani
BT, 2012
Acrylic on canvas
183 x 170 cm
Collection: Lipman Karas, London

Art code GZCED/P0055

20 of 21
Further Details

Artist's statement:

My country has changed since mining began. The centre (yellow) is representative of a sacred stone, (donut shaped). I sometimes think, is it still there? What about the little spirit people and other places and stories. Mmm, Native Title, sell your birth right for progress. Funny, that letter “P”, no wonder we are cooking in our own Progress, just like P and ham soup.

This sacred stone was photographed in the late 70’s by the Aboriginal Heritage mob. At least we still have a picture.

Pungkai 0059

Kunmanara P. Bertani
Tali Tjuta - Many Sandhills, 2013
Acrylic on canvas
86.5 x 115 cm

Art code GZCED/P0059

21 of 21
Further Details

This piece celebrates the journeys of our Noongah ancestors from the Southern Ocean to Ooldea in South Australia.

More recently to celebrate the life of Kunmanara (Eileen) Stevens from Nyapari. Munju (Mother) used to sit and tell a lot of stories. One in particular about a family travelling from the Mann Ranges on foot to Watarru, Oak valley, Ooldea and Head of Bight. Lots of spinifex, sand hills and bush lands covering red sands hill country in the north, and white sand hills in the south to the ocean. No Nike them days.

Many stories criss-cross Australia. Our song and dance still here. We have ceremony to pass and keep alive. Technology is our modern tool.

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