Water Dreaming


Dimensions - 100cm x 152cm 

Debra Nangala McDonald is a Pintupi artist, born at Papunya in 1963.  Her mother Martha McDonald is an artist, as were her aunties Linda Syddick Napaltjarri and Wendy Napaltjarri.  This family of artists inherits a strong line of stories that relate to their own family story, when they travelled over great distances from the Gibson Desert to come into the desert settlements.  The family group settled in the small communities at Haasts Bluff, Papunya and Mt Liebig during the 1940’s.

The clan leader of this small group was Shorty Lungkata Tjungurrayi (c.1920-1987) who was Debra McDonald’s maternal grandfather.  Shorty Lungkata became one of the most important artists at Papunya during the 1970’s and 1980’s, having been discovered doing traditional painting in the early 1950’s in the Western Desert. 

Most of the subject material of Debra’s paintings come from Shorty. Shorty and his clan were responsible for establishing the Papunya Tula art Co-operative in 1972 that is owned and operated by Aboriginal people from the Western Desert of Australia. The group is known for its innovative work with the Western Desert Art Movement, popularly referred to as "dot painting". Credited with bringing Aboriginal art to world attention, its artists inspired many other Australian Aboriginal artists and styles. The company operates today out of Alice Springs and is widely regarded as the premier purveyor of Aboriginal art in Central Australia.

One Rundle is delighted that Debra works very closely with us, often painting in our store.  A very important work recording the art and artists of the region was published in 2004 ‘Papunya, A Place After the Story’ by Geoffrey Bardon is an enormously important work recording and explaining the stories and artists of Papunya, Debra’s Grandfather, Shorty Lungkata features prominently.  As the custodian of Short’s celebrated stories, Debra is entitled to paint the remarkable works of the Western Desert preserved by her Grandfather.  We sell ‘Papunya, A Place After the Story’ at one Rundle.