“He was born north-east of the Kiwirrkura Community circa. 1930 at the soakage site of Tjangimanta, one of the most remote parts of the Australian outback. The works in this exhibition are a visual representation of the sacred soakages and waterholes of the Gibson Desert, including the western fringes of Wilkinkarra (Lake Mackay). These sites also have great ceremonial significance and the related stories have been passed down through countless generations via song, dance and painted imagery.
Tjupurrula has been an integral part of Papunya Tula Artists for his entire artistic career, as well as being a highly respected cultural figure within the Pintupi Community. He was a shareholder of the Company from the early nineties and painted consistently up to his death in Alice Springs 18 months ago. During his career he was represented in over one hundred and twenty exhibitions around the world, a truly staggering output of work that earnt him the highest respect among the Australian Indigenous art community. Along with three highly successful previous solo exhibitions, Tjupurrula was also a finalist four times in the prestigious National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award, Australia’s premier Indigenous art award held annually in Darwin, Northern Territory.
Tjupurrula typified the resilience of Pintupi life in the Western Desert, one of the harshest environments on the planet. He was born traditionally and roamed with his family as a nomad until having contact with Europeans in the 1950’s. Following this he moved to the Papunya settlement before later returning to his traditional country during the homeland movement of the early 1980’s. From then on Tjupurrula spent his time between the Pintupi communities of Kintore and Kiwirrkura where Papunya Tula Artists had established studios to service the painters.
The exhibition runs from Wednesday 8th November – Saturday 2nd December 2017 and is a fitting tribute to one of Papunya Tula Artists most enduring personalities. Johnny passed away in Alice Springs in February 2016, but his legacy will remain through the stunning art works he produced, including those in this exhibition. His work is held in virtually every major collection of Australian Indigenous art world wide, making this exhibition a must see event for anyone interested in the very best indigenous art from Australia’s Western Desert.”
For e-catalogue click here
To view the exhibition click here