Warlimpirrnga Tjapaltjarri

Warlimpirrnga Tjapaltjarri is one of Central Australia’s most well-known Contemporary Indigenous Australian artists. Warlimpirrnga and his brothers Walala and Thomas have become well known in the Contemporary Indigenous Art world as the Tjapaltjarri Brothers.

Warlimpirrnga and his family lived a traditional nomadic way of life on the western side of Lake Mackay, in the Gibson Desert in Central Australia. They had never come into contact with Western civilisation until they wondered out of the desert in 1984, which made news headlines around the world. They became known as “The Last Nomads” or “The Lost Tribe”. Most other Pintupi families had been settled in remote towns to the east and west of their traditional country during the 1950s.

Upon seeing a white man for the first time, when he was about 25, Warlimpirrnga remembers, “I couldn’t believe it. I thought he was a devil, a bad spirit. He was the colour of clouds at sunrise.”

Like his brothers, Warlimpirrnga also paints the Dreamings of Tingari, the ancestors of the Pintupi. Spirit beings who are believed to have created the land and all living things.