Michael Reid’s work, ‘Rockhole site of Tarkul’ depicts designs related to the rockhole and soakage water site of Tarkul, north of Mt Webb in Western Australia. During ancestral times, a large group of Tingari men camped at this site before travelling east to Pinari. The Tingari Song Cycle is a secret-sacred mythology, the specifics of which are only known to initiated Pintupi. In general, the Tingari are a group of ancestral Dreaming beings who travelled over vast stretches of country, creating, and transforming the landscape through their movements.
Michael’s striking use of line and stark monochrome palette create the entrancing effect of pulsating movement in this work. The artist’s interconnecting geometric lines evoke a labyrinthine form, the motif symbolic of a journey or pilgrimage to a predetermined site – much like the travels of the Tingari. Though the esoteric meaning of this work remains secret, the symbolism is universal – the artist’s maze of brushstrokes guiding the viewer on a journey across the Pintupi homelands.