Thomas Tjapaltjarri was born sometime around 1964 in the Gibson Desert, Western Australia. Thomas and his family which includes fellow artists Warlimpirrnga, Walala, Yukultji, Yalti and Tjakaria led a completely nomadic life until they emerged from the desert, coming to Kiwirrkurra in 1984. Dubbed “the Last Nomads” or “the Pintupi nine”, they had had no contact with western society until this point. Amazingly, he transitioned from an utterly traditional lifestyle to commencing as an artist within a matter of a few years and painting the traditional stories of his people.
Thomas paints simple, geometric designs and uses a dotting technique shared with other Pintupi artists such as his brothers, Warlimpirrnga and Walala, and with Willy and George Ward Tjungurrayi. Thomas’s works explore the stories of the Tingari cycle. Tingari are the legendary beings of the Pintupi people that travelled the desert performing rituals, teaching law, creating landforms and shaping what would become ceremonial sites. As far as we can know, the meanings behind Tingari paintings are multi-layered, however, those meaning are not available to the uninitiated.
Thomas, along with his brothers Walala and Warlimpirringa, has exhibited widely in almost all aboriginal galleries in Australia and overseas. They include: Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney; Cooee Gallery, Sydney; Artitja Fine Art, WA; Aranda Art, Melbourne; Gallery Woo Mang, Paris; and many many more.
Hank Ebes Collection, Melbourne, VIC
Similarly, Thomas’ work is widely collected both in Australia and overseas.
Datsun Tran "Maslow's Flowers" @ HARVEY GALLERIES, 23 November - 2 December, 2018
Adaptation, conflict and cooperation are themes I’ve explored through my work in recent years. Usually when I scratch the surface in a new area of interest, I find the same adeptness to adaptation that is in us, is often key to flourishing on this planet. And while the majority of my work draws from the natural world, I’ve never explored the floral side before.
In researching for this show, my appreciation for flowers grew as I quickly found that they are not just pretty things to have in the background, but rather at the forefront of adaptation. They have a level of power that I never recognised before, appealing to us in each stage of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.
From the flowers of the Fertile Crescent, which fed and clothed us, to beautifying our nests, attracting a mate, or for respect, and even inspiring us in art. Flowers have inserted themselves into every aspect of our lives, thus insuring their survival.
So in this world where animals are increasingly put on endangered lists, flowers are a section of a chain that if broken, will cause chaos. And if the past is a guide for the future, the continuation of humans on this planet is going to be inextricably linked to the survival of flowers.
BORN 1963 in London EDUCATION From 1982 -84 he completed Higher Art Certificate, National Art School, Sydney. SOLO EXHIBITIONS 2014 Resonance, Hill Smith Gallery, Adelaide 2007 Greenhill Gallery, Perth Christine … read more →
The philosophy is simple. We wish to share with the world our passion for art and the remarkable talents of our artists. We take pride in working with artists, patrons, collectors and colleagues who are kindred spirits.