Wangkamarl, 2003 bears artist's name, year and Irrunytju Arts catalogue number IRRTW03186 on the reverse synthetic polymer paint on canvas 126 x 185cm (49 5/8 x 72 13/16in).
PROVENANCE: Irrunytju Arts, Wingellina, Western Australia Purchased from Aboriginal and Pacific Arts, Sydney in October 2003
EXHIBITED: Wati Tjilpiku Tjukurpa II: Stories from the Senior Men, Aboriginal and Pacific Arts, Sydney, 11 September - 3 October 2003, cat. no. 10 Laverty 2, Newcastle Region Art Gallery, Newcastle, 14 May - 14 August 2011
LITERATURE: Colin Laverty and Elizabeth Laverty et al., Beyond Sacred: Recent Painting from Australia's Remote Aboriginal Communities - the collection of Colin and Elizabeth Laverty, Melbourne: Hardie Grant Books, 2008, p.106 (illus.) Colin Laverty and Elizabeth Laverty et al., Beyond Sacred: Australian Aboriginal Art - the collection of Colin and Elizabeth Laverty, Edition II, Melbourne: Kleimeyer Industries, 2011, p.118 (illus.)
This painting is sold with accompanying Irrunytju Arts documentation.
TOMMY WATSON Tommy Watson was born at Anamarapita, west of the Irrunytju and lived a semi-nomadic life in the Gibson Desert where he learnt bushcraft from his father; they made spears and spearthowers, shields, boomerangs and Watson learnt to hunt and traverse the vast expanses the arid landscape that had defeated the first non- Aboriginal explorers, Ernest Giles and William Gosse some sixty years before the artist's birth. During the 1950s Anangu (Aboriginal people of the desert) were taken off their customary lands and resettled in missions and communities such as Warburton and Wingellina (Irrunytju) to make way for mining, the cattle industry and bomb and rocket testing. Many recollect the atomic bomb testing at Maralinga.
Tommy Watson was among the first group of painters at Wingellina when Irrunytju Arts was established in 2001. He is renowned for the chromatic range and intensity of his paintings that are created of 'sumptuous layers of coloured dots which ripple and surge across the canvas suggesting contours in the landscape, dry creek beds, plains and spinifex and tali (sand dunes)' (Knights, M., Irrunytju Arts, Irrunytju: Irrunytju Arts, 2006, p.72). Wangkamarl, in Watson's grandfather's country, is a rockhole surrounded by many caves in which people shelter during storms. In documenting this work, Watson said 'this place copy you when you talk (echo), that's why its called Wangkamarl. Wangka is Anangu for talk.'