Before Time Began


The Kulata Tjuta installation (“many spears” in the Australian Aṉangu, or Western Desert language speaking person) designed by the Senior Artists of the APY Lands for the Fondation Opale is their most ambitious to date - a kupi kupi (an Australian whirlwind, whilly-whilly or mini tornado), falling down a full two floors of the new museum. As in previous iterations of this artistic project, the spears hang point down over wooden objects, weaponry, tools and food-gathering items representing traditional life for the people known as the Aṉangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjar, living in the APY Lands.

The kupi kupi is a funnel-shaped dust storm often seen whirling across the desert landscape. For the Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara people, weather, especially the wind, has a special cultural significance; the wind marks the passing of senior distinguished Aṉangu elders. Or it may be a warning to the Aṉangu from the Country that danger is approaching, or it might indicate that there are great changes afoot. Although the Aṉangu are proud of their family culture and heritage and celebrate it frequently, life in the APY Lands today is challenging, a paradox in many ways.

Conceptually, the new kupi kupi installation is an exploration of the ongoing impact of the western world on traditional Aṉangu society and life. APY Chairperson Frank Young explains that “this story is about the great wind of change, which arrived when the white man came to the Lands.” The Kulata Tjuta installation represents a story of hope for future generations of Aṉangu, paying tribute to the strong leaders who founded the project and have since passed – the deceased Kunmanara (Hector) Burton, Kunmanara (Ray) Ken and Kunmanara (Gordon) Inkatji.

Artists: 84 artists Anangu

Km: 11143

Venue: Fondation Opale

Address: Route de Crans 11978

City: Lens


Curatorial axes:

Transits and Migrations



From 08/06/2019

To 29/03/2020