Denis Nelson Tjakamarra
Denis Nelson Tjakamarra was born around 1964 and is a Luritja speaker. He is the son of celebrated aboriginal artist Johnny Warrungkula Tjupurrula, who was among the first Aboriginal men to paint their dreaming stories on canvas in the early 1970s. Denis has been painting since the late 1980s. He paints emu and water dreaming from his country at Kalipinpa (about 200 km north west of Papunya) as well as the dreaming his father has taught him.
Denis speaks very good English and has worked as a teacher at the Papunya school helping to overcome the language barrier for the children. He says he enjoys the school holidays as he can spend more time expressing his traditional beliefs through his paintings.
|Alison Nampitjinpa Anderson was born in 1958
at Haasts Bluff, a nearby community in the Papunya region. Alison
has been living in Papunya the majority of her life and is a Luritja
speaker. Alison attended school in Alice Springs and completed
year 10 and then started working for the Department of Aboriginal
Affairs. In 1981 she worked as a clerk for Papunya Community and
was later promoted to the Administrator for the Council.
Alison's role as an administrator for Papunya Community Council covers
many responsibilities and she is called upon to translate and act
as a go between for the people of Papunya and other communities. Many
of the older artists who began painting in the 1970s look to Alison
for guidance as she has the ability and knowledge to understand the
artists' needs (being an artist herself).
Alison began painting her father's and grandfather's dreaming
approximately nine years ago. Her family are important custodians
of many Water Dreamings in the Papunya area, Mikantji being
an important site. Water Dreaming can be a great storm as it
brings on the lightning, thunderclouds, rain and sometimes hail,
sending its deluge to rejuvenate the earth, filling rockholes,
claypans and creeks. It has the power to create new life and
growth upon the land which is vital for survival in the desert.
Alison also paints bush potato and bush onions, these being her Grandmother's
dreaming from the country of Mount Wedge which is also in the Papunya
region. Alison has been represented in several major Aboriginal art
exhibitions at the Araulen Arts Centre in Alice Springs as well as
in the Holmes a Court collection.
Dinny Nolan's birth date is uncertain. The artist says he survived
the Coniston massacre of 1928, which would make him well over
70 years of age. He was born near Mt Allan, close to present-day
Yuendumu, and is a Warlpiri speaker. He is a senior custodian
and law man, with responsibility for rain making and water dreaming
ceremonies. Dinny worked as a stockman across much of the Northern
Territory before settling at Papunya in the mid 1970s, and was
among the first of Aboriginal men to paint on canvas under the
influence of Geoff Bardon, who entered the community at that
In 1981 he visited Sydney with Paddy Carroll to make the first large
scale sand painting ever seen outside of central Australia. Dinny
has traveled extensively in Australia and overseas - in 1991 he traveled
to the United States with Paddy Carroll on a working exhibition across
|Ewari Nungala is an elder woman in the community
of Papunya. She has lived in Papunya for many years with her family
and continues to do so today. Erawi is a skilled painter and is
also recognised as an outstanding craftsperson who makes coolamons,
music sticks, and weaves baskets.
Don Tjungarrayi was born 'out bush' near Yupirirri some time
around 1939 and is a Warlpiri and Luritja speaker. He attended
school as a boy at the Yuendumu settlement but preferred the
life of a stockman and fencing contractor on cattle stations
in the western desert. He settled at Papunya in the late 1970s.
There he began painting under the guidance of his elder stepbrother,
Paddy Carroll Tjungarrayi. He has painted steadily since then
and his work is included in many public and private collections.
In 1986 he won the Alice Springs Art prize. Don is married to
Entalura Nungala, a senior women of the Papunya Community who
is also a renowned artist.
William Sandy is a Pitjantjatjara man who was
born near Ernabella, in the far north of South Australia, some
time around 1944. He attended the mission school there. He moved
to Papunya in the mid 1970s where he began painting, and now
lives with his family. He paints dingo, emu, woman, green bean
and other Dreaming stories for his traditional country around
Ernabella. He made his first paintings in 1975 after watching
other artists at work, but did not become a regular painter
until the 1980s when he began working with Papunya Tula.
He won the Northern Territory Art Award in 1985. William is a well
respected artist who was involved in two international exhibitions
in the late 1980s in the United States and has had a solo exhibition
since. His work is held in public and private collections.
Long Jack Phillipus
Long Jack Phillipus Tjakamarra is a Warlpiri and Luritja
speaker who was born at Kalipinpa (north west of Papunya)
some time around 1932. He was among the first of the Aboriginal
men to paint on canvas under Geoffrey Bardon's influence
in the early 1970s, and has painted intermittently since
Long Jack is a highly respected elder in the Papunya
Community who has a strong influence on the young people,
particularly in maintaining their traditional ways.
In 1983 he won the Northern Territory Golden Jubilee Art Award and
in 1984 he won the Alice Springs Art prize. In that year he
was also ordained as a Lutheran pastor. He lives in Papunya
and is close to his 'brother' Michael
Nelson, with whom his family camped at Haasts Bluff before
the Papunya settlement was established.