Untitled painting by John Mosquito
Two great artists from the desert country, along the northeast reaches of the Canning Stock Route, came together to collaborate on this painting of Kurtal country —a big place with a big story. One of the main rainmaking centres of the desert, in their time, John Mosquito Tjapangarti (dec) and Nyilpirr Spider Snell (dec) were the traditional custodians of the area, with a mission to tell people about their beloved Country and their relationship with it. Spider is a renowned Wangkajunga artist, dancer, ceremonial leader and rainmaker. He communicates with his ancestors through Kurtal, the Snake Spirit, who lives in a sacred jila (spring) that provides the only reliable source of water in all seasons. Kurtal is present, living in the water. Kurtal and other ancestors moved all through the desert country, coming to rest in a number of different key sites. John Mosquito Tjapangarti is a Kukatja artist who also paints Kurtal country. Like a desert oasis, this work reflects the bounty and complexity of the country, with the power of Kurtal at the centre.