About this artwork
Ian Rictor paints with a quiet reverence for the country that he depicts, from his relatively recent nomadic movements over the endless interior that makes up Spinifex Lands. Ian walked from water source to food source and beyond, this was a cultural and family existence for survival in an arid land before his family were found and ‘brought in’ by relatives in late 1986: making them the last known traditional hunter gatherer in Australia. Ian’s compositions centre on the life affirming sites he depicts and each are multi layered with meaning. Many are surrounded with secrecy and only surface details can be recorded.
Here he paints the significant site Tuwan situated in the heart of traditional Spinifex Country. It is at Tuwan, the Tjulpu Tjuta Tjukurpa (Many Birds Creation Line) manifests. This is an epic narrative following the journey of a group of Zebra Finch people as they journey south to save the world from rising seas by using their spears to hold the sea back. These characters described are creation beings who have the power of transformation, not just of themselves but the landscape they moved through. They left indelible physical reminders in a mapped environment and wrapped it in song and dance for all to follow.