Born around 1932 at Patjanta in the Northern Territory near the border with Western Australia, Willy Tjungurrayi was a senior Pintupi man who began painting early in the papunya painting movement. Along with his brothers
Yala Yala Gibbs (a founding member of the Papunya art movement) and George Ward Tjungurrayi he was a custodian of the Tingari Stories.
He came into Haast's Bluff in 1956 with other Pintupi people, later moving to Papunya Tula. Willy began painting for Papunya Tula Artists in 1976. He lived in Walungurru (Kintore) until 2003 and split his time between there and Alice Springs.
His early work featured the linked concentric circles representing the paths Tingari ancestors travelled.There are examples of these included in the Art Gallery of NSW, The National Gallery Victoria and National Gallery in Canberra. Later in his career he painted the story of tingarri ancestors that travelled across the desert and were killed in a hailstorm at Kaakurantintjia. These works are more abstracted versions of the tingari stories and feature lines interspersed with white dotting, symbolising the hail storm.
He painted for Papunya Tula while living in Kintore and worked with a number of Galleries while living in Alice Springs including Gannon House Gallery.
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