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Walala Tjapaltjarri

Tingari Cycle - 2009

synthetic polymer paint on Belgian linen
122.0 x 152.0 cm
Price Realised: $10,370.00

MP #770


Art Equity, NSW Cat. No. WAL200900
Private Collection, NSW

Walala Tjapaltjarri, brother of well-known painters Warlimpirrnga and Thomas Tjapaltjarri, was born in the Gibson Desert east of Kiwirrkurra in the early 1960s.


In 1990, Walala watched in admiration and respect as his brother Warlimpirrnga began to paint. Shortly thereafter, he took to painting with the assuredness of a young man firmly grounded in his culture and intimately familiar with the sites he depicted. His subject from the outset was that of the Tingari cycle associated with a number of related sites in his country including Marua, Minatarnpi and Mina Mina in the Gibson Desert of Western Australia.  

Having developed his style during the early 1990s, Walala produced a work on canvas in 1997 that was unlike anything he had done before. Strongly gestural and boldly graphic it featured roundels, rectangles and abutting lines set against a stark monochrome black background. This distinctive and individual style laid the foundation for the remarkable body of work that he has completed since that time.

His first solo shows were held with Gallery Gondwana in Alice Springs, which was the gallery that encouraged and first presented his art. Following his 1998 solo exhibition at Coo-ee Aboriginal Art Gallery in Sydney, SMH art critic John McDonald enthusiastically endorsed his work. 

The Tingari Cycle is a secret song cycle sacred to initiated men. The Tingari are Dreamtime Beings who travelled across the landscape performing ceremonies to create and shape the country associated with Dreaming sites.