Cooee Art, NSW
Pitjantjatjara elder Tommy Watson gained wide acclaim in an astonishingly short amount of time. His debut at the 2002 Desert Mob show in Alice Springs was followed by his participation in a series of domestic group exhibitions in which his reputation gained momentum. Tommy Watson’s prominence was ultimately cemented when, in 2006, he was commissioned to create a permanent installation in the Musee du Quai Branly, in Paris.
Grounded in his paintings are rockholes, mountain ranges, and creekbeds. However, these are transmitted to us through his works in waves of light. Many of his paintings are, in fact, evocative of nuclear shock waves, light waves, and explosions.
Notably, his transition to stardom was far from contrived, or even self-driven. This is perhaps why the description of ‘art star’ was so incongruous when applied to Watson. He preferred not to enter into art dialogue at all, a fact that was helped by his almost total reliance on his native language, Pitjantjatjara.Share