was born in the early 1960’s at Marua to the east of Kiwirrkurra in
the Gibson Desert.
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.
was first introduced to painting by his brother Warlimpirrnga, also a
painter of international acclaim. Walala's
first paintings were in the classical Tingarri
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.
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 Tingarri
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.
the three 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.
- Men's Business', Coo-ee Gallery, Sydney; ‘Walala Tjapaltjarri
Paintings,’ Vivien Anderson
Cycle' an exhibition of works by Walala Tjapaltjarri, Fire-Works
Dreaming', Japingka Gallery, Fremantle; '15th National Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander Art Award', Darwin.
the Desert' Alliance Francaise de Canberra and the French Embassy.
The California Palace of the Legion of Honour, San Francisco;
Works by Walala
and Warlimpirrnga Tjapaltjarri', Rebecca
Gallery, London; 'Tingari Cycle, Fireworks
Brisbane; ‘16th National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art
'Lines', Fireworks Gallery, Brisbane; 'My Country - Journeys of our Ancestors' Ancient Earth
Indigenous Art, Cairns; 'Landmarks Exhibition', Dar Festival, Brisbane
Powerhouse; 'Fifth National Indigenous Heritage Art Award', Australian
Heritage Commission, Canberra; 2000-01 'The Art of Place Exhibition',
Australian Heritage Commission, National Tour; 'Songlines: Walala
Tjapaltjarri & Dorothy Napangardi ', Rebecca Hossack Gallery,
London; '17th National
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award', Darwin, N.T; Melbourne
Art Fair, Melbourne; AMP
Investments Australia, Sydney; Axiom Funds Management, Sydney; Gantner
Myer Aboriginal Art Collection CNC International Corporation, Sydney;
Deutsche Morgan Grenfell, Perth, W.A. El Paso Energy International Co,
Houston, Texas Epic Energy Australia, Brisbane; Flinders University,
Adelaide; Hastings Funds Management, Melbourne; Kaplan & Levi
Collection, Seattle, U.S.A. New South Wales Art Gallery, Sydney; The
Kelton Foundation, Santa Monica, U.S.A.
Galleries of Australia, Melbourne;
is a promising start for a relatively young artist whose career can only
improve over the years with many collectors expressing interest in his