Billy Stockman Tjapaltjarri
One of Central Australia's Grand Old Masters and highly respected artists
Billy Stockman Tjapaltjarri
Region: Central Desert
Social Affiliation: Anmatyerre, Western Arrernte Tjapaltjarri subsection
Medium: Acrylic on canvas.
Subjects and Themes:
Billy is one of the senior keepers of all his tribe's Dreamings
Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide.
Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth.
Campbelltown City Art Gallery.
Christensen Collection, held Museum of Victoria, Melbourne.
Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, Australian
National University, Canberra.
Donald Kahn collection, Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami.
Flinders University Art Museum, Adelaide.
Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin.
Museum of Victoria, Melbourne
South Australian Museum, Adelaide.
The Holmes a Court Collection, Perth.
The Kelton Foundation, Santa Monica, U.S.A.
1974, Anvil Art Gallery, Albury, New South Wales
1977, Nigerian Festival, Lagos, Nigeria
1977, Christ College, Oakleigh, Victoria
1982, Georges Exhibition, Melbourne, Victoria
1983, Mori Gallery, Sydney
1984, Anvil Art Gallery, Albury, New South Wales
1985, Dot and Circle, a retrospective survey of the Aboriginal acrylic paintings
of Central Australia, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Melbourne
1985, The Face of the Centre: Papunya Tula Paintings
1971-1984, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.
1987, A selection of Aboriginal Art owned by the ANU, Drill Hall Gallery, ACT
1988, The Inspired Dream, Life as art in Aboriginal Australia, Museum and
Art Gallery of the Northern Territory and touring internationally
1989, A selection of Aboriginal Art owned by the ANU, Drill Hall Gallery, ACT
1991, Alice to Penzance, The Mall Galleries, The Mall, London
1991, Australian Aboriginal Art from the Collection of Donald Kahn, Lowe
Art Museum, University of Miami, USA
1991, Canvas and Bark, South Australian Museum, Adelaide.
1991, The Painted Dream: Contemporary Aboriginal Paintings from the Tim
and Vivien Johnson Collection, Auckland City Art Gallery and Te Whare
Taonga o Aoteroa National Art Gallery, New Zealand.
1992, Tjukurrpa, Museum fur Volkerkunde, Basel.
1993, Tjukurrpa, Desert Dreamings, Aboriginal Art from Central Australia
(1971-1993), Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth WA
1994, Dreamings - Tjukurrpa: Aboriginal Art of the Western Desert; The
Donald Kahn collection, Museum Villa Stuck, Munich
Australian Aboriginal Art from the Collection of Donald Kahn,
1991, Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami, USA
Bardon, G., 1979, Aboriginal Art of the Western Desert, Rigby, Adelaide. (C)
Berndt, R. M. and Berndt, C. H. with Stanton, J., 1982,
Aboriginal Australian Art, a Visual Perspective, Methuen Australia Pty Ltd, Sydney.
Brody, A., 1985, The face of the centre: Papunya Tula paintings
1971-1984, NGV, Melbourne.
Bardon, G., 1991, Papunya Tula Art of the Western Desert,
McPhee Gribble, Ringwood, Victoria. (C)
Caruana, W., 1993, Aboriginal Art, Thames and Hudson, London. (C)
Isaacs, J., 1989, Australian Aboriginal Paintings, Weldon Publishing, New South Wales.
Johnson, V., 1994, The Dictionary of Western Desert Artists,
Craftsman House, East Roseville, New South Wales. (C)
Maughan, J., and Zimmer, J., (eds), 1986, Dot and Circle, a
Retrospective Survey of the Aboriginal Acrylic Paintings of
Central Australia, exhib. cat., Communication Services Unit,
Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Melbourne. (C)
Schulz, D., 1994, Lines from the Dreamtime, The Australian
Way, Qantas in flight magazine, May 1994.
West, M.K.C., (ed.), 1988, The Inspired Dream, Life as art in
Aboriginal Australia, exhib. cat., Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane.
1993, Tjukurrpa Desert Dreamings, Aboriginal Art from Central
Australia (1971-1993), exhib. cat., Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth. (C)
© Discovery Media, Documentation Pty Ltd, and the Australian
Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
His first contact with whites was as an infant survivor of the Coniston
massacre (1928): 'All the people were running. I was a little one-in a
coolamon. My mother put me under a bush. My father had gone hunting-for
rabbit and goanna. They killed my mother. I was grown up by her
sister-Clifford POSSUM's mother.' Billy grew up at Napperby station and
Aileron, was initiated at Napperby and then worked there as a stockman.
Later he worked as a cook in the Papunya communal kitchen and with the
Pintupi people brought in from the west, helping them to adjust to the
He was one of the Papunya Town Councillors in the '70s
and an accomplished wood carver before he took up painting. Billy was one of
the founders of the Papunya painting movement: watched over by Old MICK
and Old Tom Onion, who gave permission for the use of their story, Billy,
KAAPA, and Long Jack PHILLIPUS painted the Honey Ant Dreaming design on the
school wall which set the painting movement in motion. An energetic
campaigner in the outstation movement, he was one of first to shift to his
own outstation west of Papunya. His country lies west of Napperby station
around Mt Denison, Ilpitirri and Yuendumu.
He paints Budgerigar, Spider, Yam and Wild Potato Dreamings for this
region.Billy was a Central Australian delegate to the NAC during the '70s;
Aboriginal Arts Board member 1975-79; and Chairman of Papunya Tula Artists
during the '70s. Billy has visited the USA several times, most recently for
the opening of the 'Dreamings: Art of Aboriginal Australia' exhibition in
New York in 1988, also Papua New Guinea,New Zealand, and the 'All Black
Festival' in South Africa. He occasionally paints in town for the Centre
for Aboriginal Artists, but mostly lives with his family on his outstation
at Ilili near Papunya. He and his wife Intinika have two sons and two
daughters, of whom Gillian paints occasionally, having been taught by her father.
(Aboriginal Artists of the Western Desert. By Vivien Johnson)