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 is also the subject of a book by John Carthy, published by the University of Western Australia with proceeds going to the Purple House Foundation.