Papunya Painting: Out of the Desert showcases the National Museum of Australia’s extraordinary collection of Western Desert art.

These works have rarely been seen in Australia.

In the 1970s and early 1980s Central and Western Desert artists at Papunya, in Australia’s Northern Territory, created a body of work that transformed understandings of Aboriginal art.

On large canvases and suitcase-sized boards they experimented with colour and style to tell their Dreaming stories linked to land, history and culture.

Honey Ant Hunt by artist Tim Leura Tjapaltjarri relates to one of the Dreaming stories you can explore in Papunya Painting. Tim Leura created this work in 1975 using synthetic polymer paint on canvas. It measures 1.9 x 1.7 metres.

The three hills at Papunya form an important Dreaming site, representing the body of a huge ancestral Honey Ant. It was here the Honey Ants returned to the ground after travelling during the Dreaming. Tjapaltjarri’s painting gives a soft symmetry to the Honey Ant chambers and passages.