Born in the late 1960s, Walala Tjapaltjarri first began painting in 1997, and very soon after he received worldwide acclaim for his artistic representations of the Tingari cycle. His paintings are highly sought after worldwide and are held in public and private collections across the globe. He was first introduced to painting by his brother Warlimpirrnga, also an artist of international acclaim.
Walala is one of the famous “Pintupi Nine”. The group of nine made international headlines when they walked out of the desert in 1984. They are believed to be the last group of Indigenous Australians to be living a fully nomadic lifestyle in the desert. Until that day in 1984, Walala and his family lived the traditional and nomadic life of a hunter-gatherer society. Their intimate knowledge of the land, its flora and fauna and waterholes allowed them to survive, as their ancestors had for thousands of years.
Walala’s artworks depict the Tingari Cycle of the Pintupi from the Western Desert. His works are created by painting a network of four sided shapes as sometimes parallel lines and concentric circles. The rectangles so prominent in his paintings form both a physical and spiritual map establishing Walala as a discerning draughtsman for his ancient country.