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National Museum of Australia

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Collection Explorer


'Tika Tika' by Nola Campbell, 2008


'Tika Tika' by Nola Campbell, 2008

Object information


The Tika Tika rock holes were made by Ngirntaka, the perentie goanna. Ngirntaka stopped here for one night during the Jukurrpa before continuing west on his journey towards Warburton. Many people lived at Tika Tika before Patjarr community was established, including Nola Campbell, who camped here as a young girl with her father, and her uncles and aunties. Nola's family also moved further west into the country around the Canning Stock Route for periods:

"My family and I were walking around in that [central stock route] Country. As a little girl I carried the water. I was following my uncles and my father, Walapayi (Charlie Wallabi), who raised me. I used to chase him around when I was little, to get meat. He's my young father." [Nola Campell]

Physical description

A painting on brown linen with one blue square of solid paint in the upper left corner. There is a grid of red concentric circles, some with beige, black or yellow rings, connected by orange, yellow, white, black or beige striped lines, and with textured solid colours filling the spaces between. The square-like spaces are orange, pink, red, blue, black, brown, lavender, cream and pale green. Around the edge is a border in aqua, red, orange, yellow and beige with the top right and bottom left corners filled with solid colour. On the back of the canvas is the text 'NOLA CAMPBELL / KAYILI ARTISTS / 102 x 152 08-139'.

Statement of significance

The Canning Stock Route collection is comprised of 125 works and includes paintings, drawings, baskets, boomerangs, coolamons, headdresses, carved figures and shields.

The Canning Stock Route is a no-longer-used cattle droving route that traverses the Great Sandy and Gibson Deserts of central Western Australia. Comprised of 48 wells along an 1800 kilometres stretch of track, the route links Wiluna in the south with Sturt Creek in the north and traverses the traditional lands of nine Aboriginal language groups. The route was founded in 1905 when Alfred Canning was commissioned to investigate a route suitable for the droving of 500 head of cattle, with water sources spaced at intervals of no more than one day's walk apart. Although Canning's map records observations of the land and water resources, it makes no mention of Indigenous places and their associated meanings which the route traversed. This collection, composed of 'painting stories', sculptural works and oral histories, re-dresses Canning's omission and records the impact of the stock route on Indigenous lives and country. A six week journey with traditional owners held in July and August of 2007 inspired the artworks, many of which were produced during the journey, and provided an opportunity for more than 70 senior and emerging artists to reconnect with traditional lands..

Object information

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