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.
Bernard Ollis "The Artists Garden Part 2" @ HARVEY GALLERIES MOSMAN, 20 March - 6 April 2021
“Over many years I have visited numerous artist’s gardens and studios throughout the world including Australia. I was particularly keen to look at artists that had been inspired by nature in their own work, which therefore made their garden so relevant for them. This formed the catalyst for many art works over many years. As an artist and teacher, I have acted as a tour guide to students with visits to the following studios and gardens. I have also spent days sitting and drawing in those locations alone, taking inspiration from the varied views that the artist themselves often encountered, both past and present.
I not only trod the same path as the artist did in the past, but also became influenced by how they may have reacted to it. This was particularly true of the French masters. These works are a celebration of those important visual artists and how they have celebrated nature through their own work.”
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.