Tingari and Ancestral Country


2013 – Painting, Western Desert, 122 x 60cm



Patrick Tjungurrayi was born at Yalangerri near Jupiter Well, Patrick Tjungarrayi walked from his traditional country into the old Balgo Mission and worked on the housing at the new Balgo site. He was involved in building the stone houses and the church in which he married Miriam Olodoodi.

Patrick Tjungurrayi is a senior law man and is responsible for upholding the traditional ceremonies for the country around Balgo, Kiriwrrkurra and Kintore in the western desert He now lives between the Pintupi community of Kintore, NT and WA community of Balgo – a community of greatly mixed language groups. Tjungurrayi began painting in 1986 with works included in the major survey exhibition Papunya Tula: Genesis and Genius shown at the Art Gallery of NSW. His works have attracted strong interest for their unique combination of Kiwirrkura and Balgo styles and  highly distinctive colours. With the luminescent combination of oranges, yellows and an unusual blueish violet  he creates geometric patterns of thin panels of squared arches, concentric circles and waves that drift across the canvas. The optical, geometric patterns of the Kiwirrkura style are given a new life by the brilliant colouration and denser application of paint, more often seen in the work of Balgo artists. Tjungurrayi’s paintings relate to the events of the Tingari sites from which he has inherited his dreaming stories and the travels of these men and the designs of ceremonies associated with the Wanawarra (rainbow snake) that lived in that area

Patrick has been instrumental in supporting the Dialysis bus that travels through the western desert after he experienced some time in Perth, The nearest but still 600Km away from his home in Kiwikurra. He has been the subject of a book by Australian Anthropologist, John Carthy which can be purchased from the purple house.

Patrick Tjungurrayi: Beyond Borders

Patrick Tjungurrayi passed away in December 2017.


Additional information

Weight 9 kg
Dimensions 128 x 66 x 5 cm
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