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This work portrays an area known intimately to the artist, painted here in exquisite detail from memory. During the pujiman (traditional, desert dwelling) era one’s survival depended on their intimate knowledge of the location of resources; thus physical elements of Country, such as sources of kapi (water), tali (sandhills), and different varieties of warta (trees, vegetation) were carefully observed and remembered. Today, this relationship with Country remains equally strong, despite the movement of Martu out of the desert and into remote Aboriginal Communities, towns and cities.

Also visible may be traces of life cycles based around kalyu (rain, water) and waru (fire). A thousands of year old practice, fire burning continues to be carried out as both an aid for hunting and a means of land management today. As the Martu travelled and hunted they would burn tracts of land, ensuring plant and animal biodiversity and reducing the risk of unmanageable, spontaneous bush fires. The patchwork nature of regrowth is visible in many landscape works, with each of the five distinctive phases of fire burning visually described with respect to the cycle of burning and regrowth.  

Finally, metaphysical information relating to a location may also be recorded; Jukurrpa (Dreaming) narratives chronicle the creation of physical landmarks, and can be referenced through depictions of ceremonial sites, songlines, and markers left in the land. 

Name: Troy Polly

Community: Kunawarritji


Troy grew up in Kunawarritji and has been painting with his grandmother Bugai and his great grandmothers Wompi and Nungabar since he has eight. When he was in school he worked with Jila Tony who taught them to make models of the community. Now Troy enjoys making his own models with found materials and telling the stories of Kunawarritji and his life. He also paints about things that he enjoys such as when Desert Feet visit which is a truck with a stage and a band set up that visit the remote communities developing musicians such and Troy.  He also paints his favorite characters from the video games that he plays out in Kunawarrtiji when he is not working for either the KJ rangers or the community and has some spare time.

© the artist / art centre