Born at Patjantja, south-west of Lake Mackay c.1930 Willy Tjungurrayi was raised by his father’s brother, Charlie Tarawa Tjungurrayi, who was one of the founding members of the Western Desert pictorial movement. In June of 1974 Willy participated in a visit to Yayayi, Kulkuta and Yawalyuru sponsored by the Australian Institute for Aboriginal Studies, an event that also included his brother Yala Yala Gibbs Tjungarrayi, John Tjakamarra, George Yapa Tjangala along with others.Willy began painting for Papunya Tula Artists in 1976 and joined the move back to the Pintupi homelands during the early ’80s. It was his uncle’s camels and assistance which eventually brought the family and other Pintupi people to Haasts Bluff in December 1956 and from there eventually on to Papunya.
He has since emerged as one of the most well-known senior Pintupi painters. He also helped raise the artist Joseph Tjapaltjarri, who was only a boy when brought into Papunya by the Northern Territory Welfare Branch patrols in the 1960’s. He now lives at Walungurru (Kintore), his land lying to the south west of Papunya.
He paints the sand hill country north of Kiwikurra, as well as Tingari song cycles.
Willy Tjungurrayi was included in the Papunya Tula Genisis and Genius exhibition at the ANSW and is included in the Top 200 Aboriginal Artists List. More information about this can be found here.
National Gallery in Canberra
Art Gallery of New South Wales
Robert Holmes a’ Court Collection
National Gallery, Victoria
Victorian Center for the Performing Arts
Parliament House Art Collection, Canberra
Flinders University Art Museum, Adelaide
Kelton Foundation, Santa Monica, USA
Aboriginal Art Museum, The Netherlands
‘Warlpiri and Pintupi Art’, Angaston
1981 ‘Aboriginal Artists of Australia’,
‘Dot and Circle’ RMIT, Melbourne
National Gallery of Victoria Melbourne
Westpac Gallery, Melbourne,
1989 ‘ Mythscapes’, National Gallery of Victoria Melbourne
Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth
1994, Araluen Art Center, Alice Springs
Flinders Art Gallery, Flinders University, Adelaide
1999 ‘Twenty Five Years and Beyond’ Art Gallery of NSW
2000 ‘Papunya Tula Genis and Genius, Art Gallery of NSW
Araluen Art Center, Alice Springs
‘Pintupi’, Alice Springs
Papunya Tula Genesis and Genius, AGNSW, Edit. Hetti Perkins and Hannah Fink
John McDonald, STUDIO: Australian Painters on the Nature of Creativity
Aboriginal Artists Dictionary of Biographies, Kreecmanski, Janusz B & Birnberg, Margo JB Books
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