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Tommy Watson

Tommy Watson

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Tommy Watson is a senior Pitjantjatjara elder, (Karimara skin group), born around 1935 at Anamarapiti, a homeland 44 kilometres west of the present day community of Irrunytju in Western Australia. As a young man Watson lived a semi-nomadic lifestyle with his family, walking thousands of kilometres from waterhole to waterhole. During this time he absorbed vital information about where drinking water and various sources of nutrition could be found in one of the continent’s most arid regions.

Before beginning to paint in 2002 for Irrunytju Arts, Tommy Watson spent a period in his twenties as a stockman in the deserts around Mount Ebenezer, 200 kilometers east of Uluru and then Yuendumu. He later returned to his homelands to live a largely traditional indigenous lifestyle where ceremony and being connected to land and his culture was all important.

Up until he began his professional painting career he had enjoyed informal relationships with the desert painting of the early Papunya Tula painters of the seventies and eighties, and was well versed in how and why they painted. Kunmanarra Dawson, Kunmanarra Roberts, Jeffrey Watson and Tumu Tumu Watson were the painters who formed his close inner circle when he first started at Irrunytju.

After Irrunytju Arts, Watson went to live in Alice Springs where he now has his own studio. He also regularly commutes to Warakurna, a remote aboriginal community close to the edge of the Great Victorian Desert where also lives, close to members of his family.

Ultimo aggiornamento - 9-giu-2017