2001, acrylic on canvas, 137 x 122 cm
2000, acrylic on canvas, 122 x 122 cm
2000, acrylic on canvas, 122 x 91 cm
1999, acrylic on canvas, 152 x 122 cm
Willy Tjungurrayi was born at Patjantja, south west of Lake Mackay around 1930. Willy's skin name and age makes him a brother of Brandy Tjungurrayi, as well as the older brother of George Tjungurrayi. As did Brandy, Willy grew up in the bush and was brought with his family to Haasts Bluff in the late 1950s. He moved to Papunya where he started painting for Papunya Tula Artists in 1976.
In the 1980s he emerged as one of the senior Pintupi painters. He paints stories linked to the Tingari Song Cycles relating to these places. The artist's senior position in his community entitles him to paint the most significant and secret parts of the Tingari stories, many of which cannot be revealed to the uninitiated. He tends to paint with a restrained palette (browns, oranges, dusky pinks and creams) typical of many of the Papunya artists. His recent work is comprised of irregular lines of very fine, pale dotting on a coloured background, resulting in subtle, elegant, linear images.
Willy Tjungurrayi's work has been collected by the National Gallery of Australia, the Art Gallery of NSW, the Holmes à Court collection and the Victorian Arts Centre.
JOHNSON, Vivien, Aboriginal Artists of the Western Desert, Craftsman House, Sydney, 1994
PERKINS, Hetti and FINK, Hannah, Papunya Tula: Genesis and Genius, ex cat, Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney, 2000