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Walala Tjapaltjarri

Biography

Walala Tjapaltajarri was born in the Gibson Desert east of Kiwirrkura in the early 1960s. In October, 1984, he was one of a small party of nine people from the Pintupi language group who walked out of the Gibson Desert into the small, remote Kiwirrkura community in northern Western Australia. Their arrival generated enormous interest and international headlines. Until this point Walala had never encountered Europeans or their ways. The group had been following their traditional lifestyle in the desert country west of Lake Mackay.

It was Walala’s brother, Warlimpirrnga, who instructed him in the use of paints and canvas. Walala started painting classic Tingari images. While Walala’s first paintings used a classical Tingari iconography usually reserved for body painting, ground painting and the decoration of traditional artefacts.

By 1996 his painting style had evolved into the works he continues to paint, characterised by rectangular shapes with surrounding dots and a limited palette of up to four colours. Walala Tjapaltajarri paints the Tingari Cycle, a series of sacred and secret mythological song cycles, which is associated with the artist’s many Dreamings.

Japingka Gallery has exhibited the work of Walala Tjapaltjarri over many years including the exhibitions –

2013 Landmarks and Law Grounds: Men of the Desert
2011 Tjapaltjarri Brothers
2004 Travels of the Tingari – New Pintupi Works
2003 Pintupi – Major Works from the Western Desert
2000 Sand, Spinifex and Salt
1998 Tingari, My Dreaming – Three Leading Pintupi Artists

A selection of paintings by Walala Tjapaltjarri is available from Japingka Gallery, where collectors can buy Aboriginal art online with certainty of quality, authenticity and provenance of art works.

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Aboriginal Art (991)