Artist | BOBBY WEST TJUPURRULA

Artist | BOBBY WEST TJUPURRULA


Australian Indigenous (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) artwork by BOBBY WEST TJUPURRULA of Papunya Tula Artists. The title is Pinari. [BW1311089] (Acrylic on Belgian Linen)

BOBBY WEST TJUPURRULA

Pinari

Australian Indigenous (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) artwork by BOBBY WEST TJUPURRULA of Papunya Tula Artists. The title is Palipalintja. [BW1401047] (Acrylic on Belgian Linen)

BOBBY WEST TJUPURRULA

Palipalintja

This month we focus on the work of one of Papunya Tula's most important living artists.  Bobby West Tjupurrula is the eldest son of Freddy West Tjakamarra, one of the original shareholders of Papunya Tula Artists and in his own right a focal point of the Western Desert Art Movement.

Born at the rockhole site of Tjamu Tjamu, which is east of Kiwirrkura, around 1958, Bobby’s family had walked from their traditional lands near Walawala east to Mantardi, and thence to Wili rockhole east of Kintore, where they were met by Jeremy Long’s NT welfare patrol in 1963 and taken to Papunya. 

Bobby recalls his most vivid memory of this time was being given Kangaroo meat for their Christmas dinner.   Whilst in Papunya Bobby attended school and was taught by both Geoffrey Bardon and Peter Fannin, two of the Western teachers credited with the start of the now famous Papunya Tula Art Movement of the early 1970s.

Bobby worked around the settlement and moved around alot in his early years between Papunya and Balgo where he had family ties but once Kiwirrkurra was established, with significant assistance from Bobby, he settled there.


Whilst his painting career can be traced back to the 1980s, it was not until 1993 that he started to paint in earnest for Papunya and it led to his one and only solo show in 2002 at William Mora Gallery to much critical and popular success.

Bobby is a painfully slow painter, with many community responsibilities that demand of his limited time.  He has been the chairman of the Papunya Tula cooperative on more than one occasion and his work is always in very high demand.

Bobby appears with his family in the book ‘The Lizard Eaters’ by Douglas Lockwood, which documents the 1963 patrol and first contact and in 1999 Bobby contributed to the Kiwirrkura men’s painting as part of the Western Desert Dialysis Appeal.



This month we focus on the work of one of Papunya Tula's most important living artists.  Bobby West Tjupurrula is the eldest son of Freddy West Tjakamarra, one of the original shareholders of Papunya Tula Artists and in his own right a focal point of the Western Desert Art Movement.

Born at the rockhole site of Tjamu Tjamu, which is east of Kiwirrkura, around 1958, Bobby’s family had walked from their traditional lands near Walawala east to Mantardi, and thence to Wili rockhole east of Kintore, where they were met by Jeremy Long’s NT welfare patrol in 1963 and taken to Papunya. 

Bobby recalls his most vivid memory of this time was being given Kangaroo meat for their Christmas dinner.   Whilst in Papunya Bobby attended school and was taught by both Geoffrey Bardon and Peter Fannin, two of the Western teachers credited with the start of the now famous Papunya Tula Art Movement of the early 1970s.

Bobby worked around the settlement and moved around alot in his early years between Papunya and Balgo where he had family ties but once Kiwirrkurra was established, with significant assistance from Bobby, he settled there.


Whilst his painting career can be traced back to the 1980s, it was not until 1993 that he started to paint in earnest for Papunya and it led to his one and only solo show in 2002 at William Mora Gallery to much critical and popular success.

Bobby is a painfully slow painter, with many community responsibilities that demand of his limited time.  He has been the chairman of the Papunya Tula cooperative on more than one occasion and his work is always in very high demand.

Bobby appears with his family in the book ‘The Lizard Eaters’ by Douglas Lockwood, which documents the 1963 patrol and first contact and in 1999 Bobby contributed to the Kiwirrkura men’s painting as part of the Western Desert Dialysis Appeal.



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