Tilly Napaltjarri

Tilly Napaltjarri

Date of birth:1930-01-01Community:Papunya

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Tilly was married to the Papunya Tula artist Limpy Tjapangardi, a Luritja Arrente man. She learned to paint watching her husband at Papunya but only recently started painting at Ikuntji Womens and Art Centre when she moved to Haasts Bluff after the death of her husband. Tilly is profoundly deaf and has never developed oral language but is proficient with indigenous sign language. She is a well respected medicine woman and proficient hunter, regularly hunting for bush tucker like goanna and witchetty grubs. Her tjukurrpa is possum dreaming. It tells the story of her mother chasing a possum through the bush into the trunk of a hollow tree running up and hiding inside the of the trunk. Her mother lit a fire at the hole in the bottom of the tree smoking the possum out from the trunk. This is the reason why Tilly is deaf and mute because it was against her child’s dreaming, and Tilly was punished for her mother’s mistake Tilly regularly paints her father’s dreaming – dog or papa tjukurrpa and is based in her fathers country around Uluru and Neunman. Tilly tells the stories of the dog people hunting and doing business in this country as they travel through to Haasts Bluff. Tilly’s works have a great sense of spirit and magic emanating from them, and while her works are not widely known, those who have read her work and understood their underlying power receive a great gift from this extraordinary painter.



Past Exhibitions

  • Desert Mob Marketplace 2017 2017-12-07
  • Ngurra Kutju - Tjukurrpa Tjuta, One Country - Many Stories, Exhibition at Colin Biggers & Paisley, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane 2017-06-20
  • 10th Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair, Darwin Convention Centre, Darwin NT 2016-08-05
  • Around the Campfire - Fundraiser Concert, Alice Springs 2014-10-17
  • Woolloongabba Art Gallery, Brisbane QLD, "Ikuntji Now" 2008-01-01
  • McCulloch Gallery, Melbourne VIC, "Charity Show" 2008-01-01
  • Kingsfisher Gallery, Perth, Western Australia, "Ikuntji Women Painters" 2008-01-01
  • Woolloongabba Art Gallery, Brisbane, "Where The Wild Flowers Grow" 2007-01-01
  • Australia Dreaming Art, Melbourne, "Group Show" 2007-01-01
  • Booker Lowe Gallery, Texas, USA, Group Show 2007-01-01
  • Bandigan Gallery, Sydney, "Yaiti Yamimi (Eight Grandmothers)" 2007-01-01
  • Indigenart, Perth, "Ngankirritja" 2007-01-01
  • Red Dot Gallery, Singapore, "Anangu" 2006-01-01
  • Gadfly Gallery, Perth, "Senior Aboriginal Women Artists of Central Australia" 2006-01-01
  • Araluen Gallery, Alice Springs, "Desertmob" 2006-01-01
  • Red Dot Gallery, Singapore, "Ikuntji Desert Belles" 2005-01-01
  • Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne, "Ikuntji Artists" 2001-01-01
  • Hogarth Gallery, Sydney, "Recent works by Ikuntji Artists" 2001-01-01
  • Desart Gallery, Alice Springs, "Next Wave a New Generation" 2000-01-01