Walala Tjapaltjarri Born: c1960 Region: Western Desert Community Centre: Kintore Outstation or Country: Kiwirrkuru, West of Lake Mackay Language Bloc: Western Desert Language: Pintupi Social Affiliations: Tjapaltjarri subsectionSubjects:
He paints parts of the Tingari Cycle associated with his sacred sites - including Wilkinkarra, Maruwa, Tarrku, Njami and Yarrawangu, which are important rockholes, sandhills, sacred mountains and water soakages within the Gibson Desert.Collections:
Exhibitions: Individual Exhibitions:
1998 - Tingari - Men's Business, Coo-ee Gallery, Sydney, NSW; Walala Tjapaltjarri Paintings, Vivien Anderson Gallery, Melbourne, VIC; Tingari Cycle an exhibition of works by Walala Tjapaltjarri, Fire-Works Gallery, Brisbane, QLD.
2005 - Smoke: Campfire Group and other commissioned works, Fire-Works Gallery, Brisbane.
2004 - Papunya: Painters of the Western Desert, Addison Galleries, NSW; Peintres Pintupi, Galerie DAD, Mantes-la-Jolie, France.
2000-01 - The Art of Place Exhibition, Australian Heritage Commission, National Tour 2000 - Walala Tjapatjarri and Dr George Tjapaltjarri, Cooee Aboriginal Art Gallery, Sydney, NSW; Songlines: Walala Tjapaltjarri & Dorothy Napangardi, Rebecca Hossack Gallery, London, England; My Country - Journeys of our Ancestors Ancient Earth Indigenous Art, Cairns, QLD; Lines, Fireworks Gallery, Brisbane, QLD; Landmarks Exhibition, Dar Festival, Brisbane Powerhouse, Queensland; Fifth National Indigenous Heritage Art Award, Australian Heritage Commission, Canberra; 17th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin, N.T;
Melbourne ArtFair 2000', Melbourne, Australia.
1999 - Tingari Cycle, Fireworks Gallery, Brisbane, QLD; Spirit Country The California Palace of the Legion of Honour, San Francisco, U.S.A; Recent Works by Walala Tjapaltjarri and Warlimpirrnga Tjapaltjarri, Rebecca Hossack Gallery, London; Painting the Desert Alliance Francaise de Canberra and the French Embassy. Canberra, A.C.T; 16th National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin, N.T.
1998 - Tingari-My Dreaming, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle, W.A; 15th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin, N.T.
1997 - 14th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin, N.T.
Walala was born in the early 1960's at Marua to the east of Kiwirrkurra in the Gibson Desert.
In late 1984, Walala and eight other relatives of the Pintupi Tribe walked out of the desert in Western Australia and made contact for the first time with European society. Described as 'The Lost Tribe', he and his family created international headlines. Until this time Walala and his family lived the traditional and nomadic life of a hunter-gatherer society. Their intimate knowledge of the land, its flora and fauna and waterholes allowed them to survive, as their ancestors had for thousands of years. It is this sacred landscape with its significant sites that Walala so strikingly describes in his paintings.Walala Tjapaltjarri was first introduced to painting by his brother Warlimpirrnga, also a painter of international acclaim. Walala's first paintings were in the classical Tingari style, a series of sacred and secret mythological songs which is associated with his Dreaming sites . In 1996 he developed his own style of work. He began abstracting the classical Pintupi designs, creating a highly graphic language to speak of his country and ceremonial sites. The rectangles so prominent in his paintings form both a physical and spiritual map.
His style is strongly gestural and boldly graphic, one that is generally highlighted by a series of rectangles set against a monochrome background. He paints the Tingari Cycle a series of sacred and secret mythological song cycles which are associated with the artist's many dreaming sites - they are Wilkinkarra, Maruwa, Tarrku, Njami and Yarrawangu, to name a few. These Dreamings are the locations of significant rockholes, sandhills, sacred mountains and water soakages in the Gibson Desert.
In the recent years Walala has been painting, he has gained worldwide recognition, participating in several national and international solo and group exhibitions. His paintings are represented in private and public collections in Australia, Europe and the U.S.A.
This is certainly a great start for a artist with a brilliant career and it can only improve over the years with many Aboriginal and contemporary collectors now looking at or already purchasing his works.