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Turkey Tolson Tjupurrula

Bandicoot and Emu Dreamings - 1984

synthetic polymer paint on canvas boards
40.6 x 30.5eah cm
Price Realised: $3,050.00

MP #397


Corbally Stourton Contemporary Art Collection, UK
Sotheby's, Melbourne 29 June 1998
Leonard Joel, Aboriginal & Oceanic Art, July 2008, Lot No. 248
Private Collection, Vic


Illustrated in Corbally Stourton P, 2000 Songlines and Dreamings II p.53.

Turkey Tolson lived at Papunya during the early years of the painting movement. He joined Papunya Tula Artists as one of its youngest members, and painted his earliest artwork for Geoff Bardon in 1972.


His unassuming leadership style, individual approach and quiet creative momentum informed an enduring career that lasted more than 30 years.

Tolson travelled to Paris with Joseph Jurra Tjapaltjarri during the 1980s to create a sand painting as part of the Peintres Aborigines d’Australie exhibition and he was elected Chairman of Papunya Tula in 1985, a role he held until 1995. His paintings were invariably included in landmark exhibitions from the early 1980s onward. These included Contemporary Australian Art 1981, an exhibition of works from the Richard Kelton collection at the Pacific Asia Museum in Los Angeles; The Face of the Centre at the National Gallery of Victoria in 1985; Aratjara - Art of the First Australians which toured Germany and the UK in 1993-1994; and Papunya Tula: Genesis and Genius at the Art Gallery of NSW in 2000.

These two small works have the following annotations verso:

Bandicoot Dreaming at Tjiterchnga - The Bandicoot withheld the firestick and other travellers were unable to light a fire. The Ice-Cold man lives at this site to this day, guarding the sacred objects in the caves.

Emu Dreaming at Tipunga east of Ilpilli - The Emus travelled to the area, sometimes overland and sometimes beneath the ground. A range near Brown's Bore with rounded hills is said to be their backs (Young Emu chicks have brown lines down their backs).