The Holy Trinity at Warlukirritjinya by Linda Syddick

Details of The Holy Trinity at Warlukirritjinya

The Holy Trinity at Warlukirritjinya by Linda Syddick
Catalog Number : 838070
Size : 151.7cm x 101.3cm
Medium : Acrylic On Linen
For Sale : Contact Short St Gallery
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About The Holy Trinity at Warlukirritjinya
In this work Linda paints the Father, Son and Holy Spirit at Warlukirritjinya, in the Pintupi Country of her adoptive father, Shorty Lungkata Tjungarrayi. She asserts clearly this painting is the Holy Trinity. She is a deeply religious member of the Lutheran Church in Central Australia. Therefore, one is moved when Lindathen interprets her painting in detail for the viewer. Linda declares of the Father, on the left, ‘This one Tjungarrayi – my father, Riinytye.’ Of the Holy Spirit in the middle of the painting, she explains ‘This one Tjungarrayi – my father, Lungkata [Shorty Lungkata Tjungarrayi] – my father’s brother’. And what of the son? Linda smiles, ‘This one, Baby Jesus. This one, my baby brother, Tjapaltjarri. This is Jesus’ Story, and my borning place’. Smiling, Linda clasps her hands together fingers entwined, and draws them to her chest, as though in prayer. She refers to Warlukirritjinya as her place, her father, Tjungarrayi, then the last word she speaks throws one completely... ‘Redemption’
Linda’s description of her work illustrates the complete synthesis she feels about the power and authority of the Christian Trinity, with that of her male parents and sibling, all Senior Pintupi Men of Tjukurrpa – holders of Law, authority, power and renown. Linda goes on to briefly explain her personal history, pointing to the Holy Spirit: ‘He [Shorty Lungkata Tjungarrayi] been found mother and me in my borning place [Lake Mackay].My father dead. He been my father’s brother. He married mother, and raised me up. We lost my father, but he’s still here. Lungkata taught me, his eldest daughter, and then he taught all of us, all his children... about this [indicating her painting, but implying her fathers’ Tjukurrpa]. I know about this, about Baby Jesus, about Country, where I’m from’.
Linda Syddick’s long-term syncretic practice, through which she comfortably combines core Christian themes and Pintupi Tjukurrpa relates to the complex life journey she has undertaken. The ease with which Linda explores sacred concepts, beings and places; her reflections on temporal and spatial integration and separation from place and people, Law and faith and identity; are fully realised in her paintings, as they reflect matters of Authority and Faith, the absolute and yet ephemeral association between Identity and Country, Tjukurrpa and Family, love and longing, loss and grief.
Born near Wilkinkarra[Lake Mackay], her Tjungarrayi father killed by a revenge party out in the Western Desert, Linda and her mother were embraced by Shorty Lungkata Tjungarrayi, her father’s Tjukurrpa or spiritual and legal, but not biological ‘brother’. Lungkata married Linda’s mother, and adopted Linda, then a young child. Lungkata was a powerful and sometimes feared Senior Law Man, Ceremonial leader and Ngangkari [traditional healer] who wasn’t interested in assimilating culturally, or learning any English. Trouble with drought and non-Aboriginal people across Pintupi Country in 1950 drove him to lead his small family group out of the Desert to the small Lutheran mission of Haasts Bluff, where Linda began the synthesis of Pintupi and Christian knowledge and law she has lived by ever since.
Ten years later in 1960, when Linda was a young woman, Lungkata moved his growing family to newly established Papunya, where he became the last man to join the Papunya Men painting movement in the summer of 1971-2. Sadly for Linda, Lungkata passed away from cancer in 1986.
Unusually, Lungkata handed absolute authority to Linda to paint his Men’s Tjukurrpa, part of the Tingarri Cycles that travel through Pintupi Country and beyond. In doing so Lungkata mentored his daughter’s knowledge and painting carefully, to ensure his Law and knowledge sustained into future generations. Under the guidance of her father and uncles, great leaders and masters, Nosepeg Tjupurrula, and Uta Uta Tjangala, Linda developed ways of expressing herself that are well catalogued, and continue to be conceptually unique.