Buy collectable artworks backed by comprehensive market information and impeccable provenance

Paddy Sims Tjapaltjarri

192 Career Overall Rank

89 2018 Market Rank

  • Born: 1916 - 2010
  • Active: 1985-

  • Region: Tanami Desert, NT
  • Community: Yuendumu, Yuendumu
  • Outstation: Kunajarrayi
  • Language: Warlpiri

A Market Analysis will be available soon.

Paddy Tjapaltjarri Sims (1916-2010) was born south-west of Yuendumu prior to contact with Europeans. He began painting in the early 1980’s while  passing on his knowledge to many of the young men at the Yuendumu school. There was concern among the Warlpiri elders at the time, that the young people were loosing touch with their cultural identity.  In 1984, the school principle asked the senior men to paint ancestral designs on the school doors. In all, thirty doors were painted by Paddy Sims, Paddy Stewart, and three other countrymen. The five artists let loose with loud pinks, purples and blues in a confident gestural style, revolutionary and raw but also determinedly political.  This  ‘eruption of painting’ was characterized by large brushstrokes and a ‘messy’ finish, clearly distinguishing it from the earthy ochres and hard edge precision of Papunya works.

After the doors were completed, thirteen huge collaborative canvases were painted by the men and brought south for the world to see. Their recognition and legitimization by the educational authorities at Yuendumu, helped to fuel the confident, flamboyant Warlpiri style that took the art world by surprise during the mid 1980’s. Over time Paddy Sims played a seminal role in refining this trademark style.

By 1986, Warlukurlangu Artists had been established and Paddy became one of its principle male artists. He was selected by The Power Gallery, Sydney University,  to travel to Paris with five other Warlpiri men from Yuendumu to create a ground painting installation at the exhibition 'Magiciens de la Terre' at the Centre Georges Pompidou. The trip took place in May 1989 and the painting was received with world-wide acclaim.

Twelve years after their creation, having survived the harsh desert elements and school children’s graffiti, the ‘Yuendumu Doors’ were purchased by the South Australian Museum . They were taken away for a long period of restoration and subsequently toured nationally. In 2000 Paddy Sims and Paddy Stewart, the two principle participants, undertook to produce 30 etchings of the original Yuendumu Doors. Under the guidance of Basil Hall, Northern Editions Printmaker (Northern Territory University) they created a folio of prints that was received with great acclaim. It won the 16th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award, for works on paper.

From the moment he began painting Paddy Sims’ was revered as one of the greatest of all Warlpiri male artists. His paintings were included in numerous landmark exhibitions.  Amongst them was Dreaming: The Art of Aboriginal Australia, The Asia Society Galleries, New York, 1988; The Continuing Tradition, Australian National Gallery, Canberra, 1989; and Mythscapes: Aboriginal Art of the Desert, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 1989.

Profile References

Ryan, Judith, Bardon, Geoff & National Gallery of Victoria. 1989. Mythscapes : Aboriginal art of the desert from the National Gallery of Victoria. Melbourne. National Gallery of Victoria.



Witchetty Grub , Snake , Fire Stick, Women’s Dreamings, Possum, Wind, Stars, Rock Wallaby , Milky Way


Synthetic Polymer Paint on Linen and Canvas

Regional Map

Note: This map is a representation and not accurate. Some sites are sacred and therefore not shown.

Market Performance

Career Totals

AIAM100 Rank
AIAM100 Rating
Clearance Rate
Average Price
Total Price
2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
0.0920 0.0940 0.0000 0.0574 0.2629 0.1696 0.2536 0.0000 0.0000 0.0767 0.1800 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 0.0000 0.1917 0.1785 0.1528
3/4 2/2 0/0 1/2 4/8 3/5 4/4 0/2 0/0 2/5 2/5 0/0 0/1 0/0 0/0 0/0 5/6 3/6 2/2
$940 $2,208 $0 $3,290 $4,320 $3,197 $4,020 $0 $0 $1,469 $8,100 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $1,470 $3,539 $5,835
Yearly Market Performance Graph from 2000 - 2018

Top 10 Artworks Sold at Auction


Yanjilpirri Jukurrpa (Milky Way Dreaming)

sale price: $12,600.00
auction: Sotheby's Australia, Melbourne  lot: 172 date: 26/07/2010
183 x 122 cm Synthetic polymer paint on linen

Yanjirlpirri Jukurrpa (Star Dreaming) (2007)

sale price: $8,060.00
auction: Mossgreen Auctions, Sydney  lot: 143 date: 16/05/2017
183 x 92 cm Synthetic polymer paint on linen

Warlu Jukurrpa (Fire Stick Dreaming) 1991

sale price: $7,200.00
auction: Sotheby's Australia Pty. Ltd., Melbourne  lot: 142 date: 31/10/2006
181.5 x 90.5 cm Synthetic polymer paint on linen

Ngarlkiri (Witchety Grub) Dreaming at Kunajarrayi (c. 1985)

sale price: $6,900.00
auction: Sotheby's Australia Pty. Ltd., Melbourne  lot: 650 date: 28/11/1995
153 x 108 cm Synthetic polymer paint on canvas

Yanjirlpirri Jukurrpa, 2007

sale price: $6,100.00
auction: Deutscher and Hackett , Melbourne  lot: 90 date: 19/10/2016
90 x 181 cm Synthetic polymer paint on linen

Mens Dreaming, 1998

sale price: $4,800.00
auction: Lawson~Menzies, Sydney  lot: 132 date: 23/11/2004
122 x 90 cm Synthetic polymer paint on linen

Possum Dreaming, 1994

sale price: $4,800.00
auction: Lawson~Menzies, Sydney  lot: 12 date: 25/05/2004
122 x 46 cm Synthetic polymer paint on linen

Burrowing Skink Dreaming 1987

sale price: $4,560.00
auction: Sotheby's Australia Pty. Ltd., Melbourne  lot: 141 date: 31/10/2006
109 x 120 cm Synthetic polymer paint on linen

Karnta Jukurrpa (Women Dreaming), 2000

sale price: $4,320.00
auction: Shapiro Auctioneers, Sydney  lot: 110 date: 21/07/2004
122 x 77.5 cm Synthetic polymer paint on linen

Walpa Jukurrpa (Wind Dreaming), 1987

sale price: $3,840.00
auction: Lawson~Menzies, Sydney  lot: 298 date: 31/05/2005
90 x 75 cm Synthetic polymer paint on linen

Available Artworks

Sorry There are currently no artworks available for this artist.