Aboriginal ArtAlice Springs ArtistsUntitled – Tommy Watson
“I want to paint these stories so that others can learn and understand about our culture and country.
Our paintings are our memories for future relatives. If they come into the center, they can see the canvasses that their parents or grandparents did, so they can think about their history, see what their relatives did, what they painted.”
Tommy Watson was born at Anmarapiti, a homeland 44 kilometres west of the present-day community of Irrunytju sometime around 1935. He traveled to the bush with his parents. He learned about hunting and respecting country from his father. With these skills, he set out on his own living like his father taught him. Watson began painting in 2002 following the establishment of the community art centre at Irrunytju by senior women of the community. His work was first exhibited in 2002 in Wati tjilpiku tjukurrpa (Senior men’s stories) at the Aboriginal and Pacific Gallery in Sydney and in Desert Mob at Araluen Art Centre in Alice Springs. Watson was selected for the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award in 2002 and 2003 and is represented in the collections of the National Gallery of Australia and the National Gallery of Victoria. Tommy Watson is one of eight Aboriginal artists who have been selected to have their work permanently featured as part of the architectural detail of the new Musée du Quai Branley in Paris which will open its doors in 2006. Progressive images are available with this painting.
© Australian Art Department, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2005
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