Menu toggle

National Museum of Australia

Where our stories come alive

Collection Explorer


'Kunawarritji and Kinyu' by Eubena Nampitjin, 2007


'Kunawarritji and Kinyu' by Eubena Nampitjin, 2007

Object information


This painting depicts an area of country from Kunawarrtiji (well 33) to Kinyu (well 35) on the Canning Stock Route. The long lines in the painting represent the high red sand-hills that dominate the country here, while the circular shape near the centre of the canvas represents a large rock, which belongs to the ancestral dingo Kinyu.

Physical description

An orange toned painting on brown linen with a curve of dark orange starting at top right and ending at the centre of the left edge. This curve is above a rounded shape in yellow and orange with pink vertical stripes and several smaller round shapes. In the lower portion is a rectangular shape with blended orange, yellow and pink vertical brushstrokes. At the bottom edge is the text 'EN/111/WAR', an earlier number has been crossed out. On the lower left side is the text '60 x 30' on the upper left side is '152 x 76cm'.

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

Back to top