Walala Tjapaltjarri was born c. 1969 at Marua, east of Kiwirrkurra in the Gibson Desert in Western Australia. Having lived a traditional and nomadic life, Walala Tjapaltjarri and eight relatives made international headlines when they ”walked out of the desert” in 1984 and made contact with white people for the first time. After settling at Kiwirrkurra, Walala Tjapaltjarri and his older brother, Warlimpirrnga soon started painting.
The artist is well known for his paintings of the Tingari Cycle, an important Dreaming for the Pintupi, which is a series of sacred and mythological song cycles that describe the epic journey of the Ancestors in the Dreamtime (Tjukurrpa) as they travelled through the land creating particular sites and teaching Aboriginal law.
During his painting career, Walala developed his own unique and boldly graphic style of painting, moving from the classic Tingari style of circle-and-line painting to a minimalist style characterized by rectangles set against a monochromatic background. In his paintings, he incorporates many Dreaming sites which represent significant rock holes, water soakage’s, sandhills, landforms and ceremonials sites found in the Gibson Desert.
Walala Tjapaltjarri lives in Alice Springs. His paintings are represented in private and public collections in Australia and overseas.