Pirrarpii by Carlene West & Fred Grant

Carlene West & Fred Grant 'Tingari Cycle' 120 x 134cm .jpg
Carlene West & Fred Grant 'Tingari Cycle' 120 x 134cm .jpg

Pirrarpii by Carlene West & Fred Grant


Carlene West c. 1944 Fred Grant c. 1946

120 x 134cm

Acrylic on canvas

©Carlene West and Fred Grant/Copyright Agency 2018

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This early collaborative work created in 2002 Carlene West and Fred Grant beautifully expresses the strength of their connection to country and the immense attention to detail of these important artists. A seemly abstract form of mapping, this work is embedded with spirituality, interlaced with meaning and knowledge.

Fred Grant and Carlene West were born in the Spinifex country of the the Great Victoria Desert. Both spent their childhood with their family group and like many Spinifex people moved from the desert to Cundeelee Mission, forced off country after and long period of drought and British nuclear testing at Maralinga. Here, they met, married and became an integral to the movement for return to country fully embracing the groundbreaking Spinifex Arts Project initiated in 1997.  Art, through paintings such as this expression of Spinifex People's connection to land, were used as evidence in their Native Title claim which in 2000 which acknowledged their rights as traditional owners of 50,000 square kilometres of the Great Victoria Desert.

Fred's deep knowledge of Spinifex culture and song lines has seen him take on a leadership role in many of the men's collaborative works. As well as being a ceremonial leader, Fred is also a renowned singer. He along with ten other Spinifex actors and singers  performed in "Mamu" a musical drama portraying the history of the Spinifex people over the period of the Marilinga atomic testing through to the return to country. Produced and directed by the Black Swan Theatre in Perth, the piece was also performed in Hamburg, Germany.

COLLECTIONS - Carlene West : 

National Gallery of Victoria                                                                                                                                                                         

Art Gallery of New South Wales                                                                                                                                                         

Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory                                                                                                                                       

British Museum UK

Seattle Museum USA

COLLECTIONS - Fred Grant :

National Gallery of Australia, Canberra (Men's Collaborative)

Art Gallery of South Australia (Men's Collaborative)

Queensland Art Gallery of Modern Art

The Art Gallery of New South Wales

Seattle Art Museum, USA (Men's Collaborative)