In 1984 Walala Tjapaltjarri was amongst a small group of Pintubi who walked out of the desert and into the tiny community of Kiwirrkura. This was the group’s first contact with non-Aboriginal people.
Walala was introduced to painting by one of his older brothers Warlimpirrnga (now a painter of international acclaim). Within three years Walala and Warlimpirrnga were painting for the renowned Papunya Tula Artists cooperative.
In their art the Pintubi men tell stories of the Tingari Cycles. Tingari Ancestors, men and women, travelled great distances across the land laying down a body of ceremonies and other law, and creating sacred sites as they went. It is their law (Tingari Law) that has formed the basis of higher education after initiation for young men.
The cycles are painted using simple, geometric and bold forms. Walala mastered this relaxed and simplified way of painting. However, his representation of this knowledge is very distinctive: abstracting traditional Pintubi designs and creating striking works with bold rectangular blocks of colour.
Walala’s innovative style has resulted in a significant following. He is recognised both nationally and internationally, and is highly sought after worldwide