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Benny Tjapaltjarri

Wilkinkarra - 1998

synthetic polymer paint on Belgian linen
61.0 x 91.0 cm
Price Realised: $3,660.00

MP #706


Papunya Tula Artists, NT Cat. No. BT980895
Aboriginal Gallery of Dreamings, Vic Cat. No. 7322
Hank Ebes Collection, Vic


accompanied by an original certificate from Papunya Tula artists and a booklet from Aboriginal Gallery of Dreamings

Born west of Kintore, NT, Tjapaltjarri's first attempts at painting for Papunya Tula Artists were in the early 1970s. He painted more regularly after the Pintupi move to Kintore, where he was a key figure in community and ceremonial activities.

Born west of Kintore in the early 1930s, Benny spent his boyhood travelling around this area with his family group, occasionally journeying east to Hermannsburg to collect rations and bring them back to their western homelands. The group continued this lifestyle after Haasts Bluff was established as a ration depot, until one of the senior men of the group died and the remaining members settled at Haasts Bluff. Benny worked on the construction programs at Haasts Bluff and later Papunya, where his main associates were George Tjangala and Charlie Tarawa. Benny tried his hand at a few small boards in the early 1970s, and a decade later began painting more regularly for Papunya Tula Artists. He was actively involved in planning the return to Pintupi homelands in the early 1980s, and then in the establishment of the Kintore Clinic. Benny’s Dreaming started at Pukurru and travelled south-west through Kintore to the site of Pinpirnga, for which he was the key “kirda” (keeper/owner). He had an outstation near this site.