King Brown Country: The Betrayal of Papunya

By Russell Skelton | Go to book overview

Chapter 7
WE DECIDE WHO COMES1

Twenty years after Bardon packed up his world and fled Papunya in his Kombi camper van, disillusioned and despairing, he decided to return to reconnect with the painters he had encouraged to greatness. He knew it would be a highly charged occasion and he had mixed feelings about the painting movement and what it had evolved into over the years. But he could never have contemplated what awaited him.

The year was 1991, and believing that his friendship with the painters he had stayed in touch with would be sufficient credentials, Bardon had not bothered to apply for a visitor’s permit. But when he and his brother James arrived in Papunya they were greeted by more than his old friends. As Bardon tearfully embraced and chatted with the painters two police officers approached demanding to see Bardon’s visitor’s permit. When he failed to produce one, his party was told to leave. It was bizarre. Bardon, the inspiration for Papunya Tula and the Western Desert Painting movement, who had come to view once more the famous mural on the school wall that he helped to organise, was exiled.

-81-

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King Brown Country: The Betrayal of Papunya
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction vii
  • Chapter 1 - First Encounters 1
  • Chapter 2 - Luritja Lady 13
  • Chapter 3 - The Whitefellas’ Fault 19
  • Chapter 4 - Mercenaries, Missionaries and Misfits 33
  • Chapter 5 - Motorcar Dreaming 55
  • Chapter 6 - Winter of Discontent 69
  • Chapter 7 - We Decide Who Comes 81
  • Chapter 8 - The Petrol-Sniffing Capital of Australia 91
  • Chapter 9 - The Consul’s Horse 103
  • Chapter 10 - Anderson Rolls the Dice 123
  • Chapter 11 - Love Hurts 135
  • Chapter 12 - The Loss of Acumen 143
  • Chapter 13 - Back to the Future 161
  • Chapter 14 - ‘Hurricane Katrina’ 177
  • Chapter 15 - Papunya after the Intervention 187
  • Epilogue - The Biggest Day in Nt History 203
  • Author’s Note 217
  • Timeline 219
  • Notes 227
  • Bibliography 241
  • Acknowledgements 245
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