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Doctor George Tjapaltjarri

Tingari Cycle - 1998

synthetic polymer paint on Belgian linen
119.0 x 70.5 cm
Price Realised: $3,840.00

MP #755


Gallery Gondwana, NT Cat. No. GT3027
Aboriginal Gallery of Dreamings, Vic Cat. No. 7360
Hank Ebes Collection, Vic

accompanied by a certificate booklet from Aboriginal Gallery of Dreamings

Paintings by Dr George Tjapaltjarri are generally raw and bold, conveying his strong, continuous association with his traditional country and his role as a highly respected Pintupi/Luritja elder.

Dr George  was born circa 1940, south-west of Jupiter Well in the Gibson Desert of Western Australia, close to the location of present-day Kiwirrkurra. He was formerly known as George Takata Ward Tjapaltjarri, or George Tjampu (Ward) Tjapaltjarri. His traditional country included Karrinwara, west of Kintore, and Kilingya in Wenampa, located to the west of Jupiter Well. 

The title ‘Dr’ referred to his highly respected work as a community health worker and position as a traditional medicine man of his people. Dr George was one of several Maparn or Ngangkari (traditional healers) who worked in association with the Kintore and Tjukurla Medical Clinics.

Together with his family, Dr George first came into contact with white society when he walked out of the desert in 1964. He is intimately associated with the Three Brothers who were amongst the 'lost tribe' of nine Pintupi nomads who walked out of the Western Desert in 1984, because there were no male elders to put them through the law. Shortly after they arrived into Kiwirrkurra, it was Dr. George who performed this important task.