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TELSTRA GENERAL PAINTING AWARD 2011 WINNER – Bobby West Tjupurrula

Papunya Tula Artists Pty Ltd congratulates Bobby West Tjupurrula on winning the 2011 Telstra General Painting Award in the 28th Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award.

Tjupurrula is from Kiwirrkura in Western Australia and painted a depiction of an ancestral story from that region. The story tells of Tingari Men becoming confronted by a large and fatal bushfire at the rockhole site of Tarkulnga. The Telstra General Painting Award of $4,000 is one of five media specific category non-acquisitive prizes.

Speaking from his home in the Gibson Desert before travelling to the awards ceremony, Mr West said “I think it is good. It has changed my mind. I thought people might not like my painting, but now I know my painting is taken seriously. I think it is exciting.”

Bobby West Tjupurrula is a senior painting man, shareholder and former Chair of Papunya Tula Artists Pty Ltd. He is the eldest son of Freddy West Tjakamarra, one of the company’s original shareholders. Bobby West Tjupurrula paints exclusively for the artists’ company.

Tjupurrula started painting for Papunya Tula Artists in the late 1980s. He has exhibited in 41 group shows, had a solo exhibition at William Mora Galleries, Melbourne in 2002 and has work in 3 public collections at home and abroad. Tjupurrula was a finalist in the 19th Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award prior to winning the Telstra General Painting Award this year.

Papunya Tula Artists Pty Ltd is also proud of its other six artists who have been selected as finalists in the country’s two most prestigious indigenous art awards. Nyilyari Tjapangati is a finalist in the nation’s richest Indigenous art prize, the Western Australian Indigenous Art Awards 2011 while Bobby West Tjupurrula’s fellow Papunya Tula Artists George Tjungurrayi, Johnny Yungut Tjupurrula, Kawayi Nampitjinpa, Wintjiya Napaltjarri and Yukultji Napangati are all finalist in this year’s Telstra Awards.

The announcement of winners and the exhibition opening took place in Darwin at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory on Thursday 11 August 2011 and the exhibition will run until 15 October 2011. More at: www.nt.gov.au/nreta/museums/exhibitions/natsiaa/