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Morris Gibson Tjapaltjarri (1957 - 2018)

Untari Lizard Man, 2017. 

61 X 31 cm. Acrylic on linen canvas


    Morris Gibson Tjapaltjarri was born in 1957 and is the nephew of renowned artist Willy Tjungurrayi.


    Tjapaltjarri and his family first went to Papunya with the Welfare Brand Patrol in 1962, when he required treatment after rolling into a fire. They returned to their Pintupi Homelands after he had healed. The next year his family was part of a large group of Pintupi people who walked the hundreds of kilometres back to Papunya where they settled and stayed. Tjapaltjarri eventually moved away from Papunya to Kintore with his wife.


    Tjapaltjarri started painting in the nineties upon learning he had inherited the custodianship of Dreaming stories from his late father, predominantly the Tingari Dreaming Cycle.


    Tjapaltjarri held his first solo exhibition in 2016, to much acclaim, with all his works selling out. It was a fitting end to a 25 year career, as he sadly passed away shortly afterwards.


    Tjapaltjarri was known as an indomitable figure, even losing both his legs was said not to slow him down - ‘a busy man with much to do!’ He contributed to the Kintore Men’s painting which was sold at the Western Desert Dialysis appeal event In Sydney in 2000. The money raised helped to establish a new model of dialysis care in the Country. He didn’t know at that time that he would need these services himself.

  • ART

    This painting depicts designs associated with Kaakuratintja (Lake MacDonald). This is the artist’s father’s country.


    In mythological times a large group of Tingari men came to this sire from the west.


    Since events associated with the Tingari Cycle are of a secret nature no further detail was given. Generally, the Tingari are a group of mythical characters of the Dreaming who travelled over vasrt stretches of the country, performing rituals and creating and shaping particular sites. The Tingari men were usually followed by Tingari women and were accompanied by novices, and their travels and adventures are enshrined in a number of song cycles. These ancestral stories form part of the teachings when initiating youths today as well as providing explanations for contemporary customs.

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