Artist Profile

Walala Tjapaltjarri
Born :c.1960
Location :Gibson Desert
Tribe :Pintupi
Language :Pintupi


Walala Tjapaltjarri


Walala was born in late 1960’s at Marua, east of Kiwirrkurra in the Gibson Desert.

In late 1984, Walala and eight other relatives of Pintubi tribe walked out of the desert in Western Australia and made contact with European society for the first time. Described as “Lost Tribe” he and his family created international headlines.

Walala Tjapaltjarri and his older brother Thomas Tjapaltjarri were first introduced to painting by their brother Warlimpirrnga Tjapaltjarri, also an artist of international acclaim. Walala’s early paintings were in classical Tingari style. In 1996 he developed his own style, in highly graphic language, to describe his country and its ceremonial stories. His style is strongly gestural and boldly graphic, one that is generally highlighted by a series of rectangles set against a monochrome background. He paints Tingari Cycles, a series of sacred and secret mythological images associated with his many Dreaming sites, Wilkinkarra, Maruwa, Tarrku, Jami and Yarrawangu, to name a few. These Dreamings are representations of significant events throughout centuries on the sand hills, rock holes sacred mountains and water soakages of his country in the Gibson Desert.


In the years Walala has been painting, he has gained worldwide recognition, participating in several national and international solo and group exhibitions:

  • 1998, 15th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award
  • 1999, 16th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award
  • Alliance Francaise de Canberra and the French Embassy
  • The California Palace of the Legion of Honour, San Francisco
  • Rebecca Hossack Gallery, London
  • 2000, Brisbane Powerhouse, Fifth National Indigenous Heritage Art Award
  • 17th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award
  • El Paso Energy International Co, Houston, Texas
  • The Kelton Foundation, Santa Monica, California
  • Galleries in major Australian cities



                                         Walala Tjapaltjarri


You are welcome to visit the art gallery to view Walala Tjapaltjarri and other aboriginal artists artwork on linen, canvas, coolamon, pottery, didgeridoo and boomerang at: KARLANGU ABORIGINAL ART CENTRE, 47 York Street, Sydney, New South Wales, 2000, Australia

Artworks by this artist

Tingarri Cycle
Art No:WTJ-1608
Size:61 X 61

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