Tommy Watson

Tommy Yannima 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. As a young man Watson lived a semi-nomadic lifestyle with his family, walking thousands of kilometres from waterhole to waterhole.

When Tommy began to paint he deliberately chose abstraction, choosing not to reveal sacred iconographic material. His work has a freedom of expression that enabled him to cut across the traditional Aboriginal/non-Aboriginal divide and establish for his work a formidable position in contemporary Australian art today, work that conveys at once, the beauty, history and power of his country.