Warlimpirrgna Tjapaltjarri was born at Tjuurlnga in the Angas Hills east of Kiwirrkura, circa 1959. Warlimpirrgna is a member of the famous ‘Pintupi Nine’ – a small family group living in the remote Western Desert who made headlines when they first encountered settler Australians in 1984. Throughout his early life, Warlimpirrgna lived a traditional lifestyle, ‘chasing clouds’ – following the rain to survive in the heat of the desert. Following his first contact in 1984, Warlimpirrgna and his family moved to Kiwirrkura, where he has remained for most of his life.
Shortly after arriving in Kiwirrkura, Warlimpirrgna began painting for Papunya Tula Artists, showing remarkable talent. His first solo show at Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi was purchased in its entirety by a prominent collector and donated to the National Gallery of Victoria.
Warlimpirrgna has exhibited widely in Australia and internationally. His works are held in many major collections, notably the Art Gallery of NSW, the Harvard Art Museum (USA) and the Voituron Collection (Belgium).
Warlimpirrgna Tjapaltjarri’s untitled work depicts designs associated with the sacred site Wilkinkarra (Lake Mckay), north-east of the remote community Kiwirrkura in Western Australia. During mythological times, a large group of Tingari men commenced their journey at this site. They travelled in a large circle, before finally returning to Wilkinkarra. This story forms part of the Tingari Song Cycle, a closely guarded mythology the specifics of which are known only to initiated Pintupi. In general, the Tingari were a group of ancestral beings who traversed the country, creating and transforming its features through their adventures.
Warlimpirrgna’s distinct style references the iconography of men’s body decoration, specifically those used in the in the ceremonial performance of stories from the Tingari Song Cycle. The mesmeric quality of Warlimpirrgna’s paintings is unsurpassed, and his striking work has captured the attention of collectors and institutions the world over.