Yannima Tommy Watson

Yannima Tommy Watson known as Tommy Watson (born 1930) is an Indigenous Australian artist, of the Pitjantjatjara people from Australia’s central western desert. He has been described by one critic as "the greatest living painter of the Western Desert"Tommy Yannima Pikarli Watson is a senior Pitjantjatara elder and Law man of Karima skin group. He was born around 1935 in Anumarapiti, 75 kilometers west of Irrunytju, also known as Wingellina, in Western Australia, near the junction of its border with the Northern Territory and South Australia. His given names of Yannima and Pikarli relate to specific sites near Anumarapiti.






 Watson's mother died during his infancy, and his father when he was about eight years old. He subsequently went to live with his father's brother, who himself died two years later. Tommy was then adopted by Nicodemus Watson, his father's first cousin. It was at this point that he went to live at Ernabella Mission, and adopted the surname Watson in addition to his Aboriginal birth name, thus becoming Tommy Yannima Pikarli Watson.
Nicodemus Watson became a strong father figure. Together they traveled widely, and Watson learned the traditional skills required to lead a nomadic existence in the desert, including the fashioning of tools and weapons from trees using burning coals, how and what to hunt, and how and where to find water. Under Nicodemus Watson's guidance, Watson learned about nature and his people's ancestral stories, collectively known to the Aboriginal peoples of Australia as Tjukurrpa.








 Tommy Watson is known for his use of strong vibrant colours, that symbolically represent the ancestral stories of his country. Judith Ryan, Senior Curator of Indigenous Art at the National Gallery of Victoria, has described Watson's colour as "incandescent". Watson's understanding of Australia's physical environment and its relationship with the ancestral stories have come to form the central element of his paintings. Watson creates his works on premium Belgian linen and favours Ara Acrylic paint, created by the Gerrit Rietveld Academie. Tommy has been associated with the 'Colour Power' movement that developed within the Indigenous art scene between 1984 and 2004.
Watson himself has stated that his art is an exploration of traditional Aboriginal culture, in which the land and spirituality are intertwined and communicated through stories passed on from generation to generation. He said, "I want to paint these stories so that others can learn and understand about our culture and country.Wikipedia





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