William Sandy



Born:            1944

People:         Pitjantjatjara

Area:            Papunya

William Sandy was born near Ernabella, a Pitjantjatjara community in South Australia in the mid 1940’s. He moved to Papunya in 1973 and two years later did his first painting for Papunya Tula Artists, teaching himself to paint by watching the older artists. William Sandy was the first of the Pitjantjatjara involved in the contemporary art movement.

It was not till the early 1980’s that he began painting regularly for the artists company. In 1985 William won the Northern Territory Art Award and his unique style has achieved recognition both nationally and internationally.

From the time William arrived at Papunya he has worked for the Papunya Council and as a health worker for the Papunya Medical Service. In recent times he has ceased other employment to concentrate on painting.

Exhibitions of his work include: 1982 Georges Exhibition, Melbourne; 1985 Aboriginal Artists Gallery, Melbourne; 1986 Queensland University, Brisbane; 1988/90 Wagga Wagga City Art Gallery; 1988-89 ‘Dreamings’ toured the USA; 1989 John Weber Gallery, New York; 1989 Centro Cultural Arte Contemporaneo, Mexico City, Mexico;  1990 Isaacs Gallery, Toronto, Canada; 1990 Solo Exhibition at Gabrielle Pizzi. 1991 Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami, USA; 1992 IBM-Kawasaki City Gallery, Kawasaki, Japan; 1998 ‘Out of Australia”, Lui Hai-Su National Art Museum, Shanghai China; 1999 ‘Indigenous Art of The Dreamtime’ held in the foyer of The United Nations Building, New York; 1999 Embassy of Australia, Washington; 1999/2000 Aboriginal Galleries of Australia.

William’s work is held in many collections, including: Robert Holmes a Court, Broken Hill Gallery, Broken Hill;  Wollongong City Art Gallery, Wollongong; Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs; Donald Kahn Art Collection, USA; Groninger Museum, Groninger, The Netherlands; Jinta Desert Art Gallery Sydney, Aboriginal Art Galleries of Australia Melbourne, Donald Kahn Collection.