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National Museum of Australia

Where our stories come alive

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4

'Witji Rock Holes' by Jane Gimme, 2007

2008.0041.0011

'Witji Rock Holes' by Jane Gimme, 2007

Object information

Description

These are the Witji rockholes belonging to Kinyu and her puppies, which are interconnected by underground tunnels. In this painting there's a big rockhole for Kinyu and all the little ones are for her puppies.

"The pamarr [rock] for Kinyu is here too. There's a hill and there are holes from the Dreamtime, and tali [sandhill] country everywhere." (Jane Gimme)

[For more information on the Kinyu story, see IR 5004.0075]

Physical description

A rectangular painting on brown linen with a red circle at the top right and three smaller concentric circles in red and beige on a yellow and beige dotted ground, above interconnected lines of red filled with yellow-orange. The lines and circles are edged with white dots. There are two circles in the lower portion of the picture in red and beige. The text 'JG/82/WA' is at top right, while '79 x 38' is on the left side of the painting. The back of the painting has a stamp with the text 'Cat # 82 / form. / The / Canning / Stock / Route / Project'.

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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