24-99 – Kumpupirntily (Lake Disappointment), Wati Kutjara (Two Men) and Wati Ngintaka (Perentie Lizard Man).
About the Artwork
The enduring strength of the Tjukurpa and the ancient beings' actions that shaped the world are still palpable within the land. These ancestral beings, often transforming into the very landscapes they created, continue to influence the lives of living individuals and shape events. The most profound impact of this power along the Canning Stock Route is felt at Kumpupirntily, also known as Lake Disappointment.
Kumpupirntily, a vast dry Salt Lake dominating the region east of the Canning Stock Route, spanning from wells 18 to 21, was first encountered by explorer Frank Hann in 1896. In his quest to find a freshwater lake, he was disappointed by the salt lake's discovery, leading him to give it the name "Lake Disappointment."
Unbeknownst to Hann, Kumpupirntily holds deep cultural significance. It is one of the most perilous areas in the Western Desert and is believed to be inhabited by cannibalistic beings known as Ngayurnangalku, meaning "will eat me."
According to traditional beliefs, the Wati Kutjara (Two Men) and Wati Ngintaka (Perentie Lizard Man) reside beneath the lake's surface, existing in their own world with a perpetually unsettling sun and distinct sky. These beings have human-like appearances, but they are distinguished by their large fangs and elongated, curved fingernails, which they use to ensnare and capture their victims.