EXPANDED LABEL: Kayili car bonnets
By Diane Moon
Among the last nomadic desert peoples forced into settled life, the Kayili eventually came to inhabit Patjarr, a small community in the heartland of the Western Desert (WA), a thousand kilometres west of Alice Springs. The first white people they saw arrived by car and now the desert abounds with cars — some functional, many in various stages of decay.
The Kayili Artists have given these resurrected car bonnets new life, painting them with an intensity that reflects their urge as tradition-bearers to constantly invent new ways to record their culture and portray their desert world. They express a love of colour by animating the metal surfaces with shimmering, cryptic, topographical maps of their country and the ancestral journeys that formed it.