Patrick Tjungurrayi is an aboriginal artist whose paintings use an aerial perspective of the landscape showing important places, such as rockhole sites for ceremonies, to the Tingari ancestors in the regions between Balgo and Kiwikurra. The ancestors are said to have traveled between these sites, creating land formations and water sources.
Born at Juniper Well around 1935 Patrick walked out of the desert following the canning stock route. His depictions of the western desert show a deep connection to and detailed understanding of the contours of the landscape. Tjungurrayi’s paintings use the rich colours of the outback to create extra depth and texture. These combined with the very thick application of paint, typical of the Balgo artists, gives an almost luminous effect. Gannon House Gallery has been lucky enough to have many of his paintings over the past 15 years and we are proud of the quality of work we are able to show in the gallery.
Patrick Tjungurrayi is a senior law man in his community and has been instrumental in bringing the western desert dialysis bus to remote communities in the western desert. A book edited by John Carthy, an Australian anthropologist and art historian features Patrick Tjungurrayi and his contribution to the stemming of the health crisis experienced by Aboriginal People in remote areas. Tjungurrayi’s paintings have won many awards, the most prestigious of which is the WA Indigenous art award in 2008.