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MODERN & CONTEMPORARY ART

Turkey Tolson Tjupurrula

Turkey Tolson Tjupurrula was born under a tree along a river bed approximately eight kilometers east of Haasts Bluff, Northern Territory. Turkey’s father was Toba Tjakamarra, an Emu man from the area around Lake MacDonald and Walungurru, present day Kintore.  After Turkey’s birth, his family continued living in the bush, though they spent most of their time around the Lutheran mission of Haasts Bluff. When they began building the settlement at Papunya and work became available, the family finally came out of the bush and settled in Haasts Bluff. As a young man, Turkey worked as a stockman. His outfit was his trademark: a cowboy shirt, hat and boots. Turkey Tolson was one of the youngest original shareholders of the Papunya Tula Artists collective. He started painting in the early days of Geoffrey Bardon. Turkey was chairman of Papunya Tula from 1985-1995. Turkey painted Bush Fire, Emu, Snake Woman and Mitukatjirri Dreamings, which originated from his traditional territory south-east of Kintore. Turkey was known as an innovative painter and experimented with various figurative styles, in addition to the strict, traditional Pintupi style of circles and connecting lines with which he became known during the first twenty years of his artistic career.


SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

2013-2014 'Vivid Memories - An Aboriginal Art History', Musée d’Aquitaine, Bordeaux, France
1995 12th Telstra NATSIAA, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin, Australia
1993 10th Telstra NATSIAA, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin, Australia
1993 ‘Tjukurrpa, Desert Dreamings, Aboriginal Art from Central Australia (1971-1993)’, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth, Australia
1993 ‘Aboriginal Art Exhibition’, Kung Gubunga, Oasis Gallery, Broadbeach, Queensland, Australia
1992-1993 ‘The Heritage of Namatjira’, Flinders University Art Museum, Adelaide, Australia (Touring Exhibition)
1992-1993 ‘New Tracks Old Land: An Exhibition of Contemporary Prints from Aboriginal Australia’, touring USA and Australia
1992 9th Telstra NATSIAA, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin, Australia
1991 ‘Canvas and Bark’, South Australian Museum, Adelaide, Australia
1991 ‘The Painted Dream: Contemporary Aboriginal Paintings from the Tim and Vivien Johnson Collection’, Auckland Art Gallery; Te Whare Taonga o Aotearoa - National Art Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand
1991 ‘Central Australian Aboriginal Art and Craft Exhibition’, Araluen Centre, Alice Springs, Australia
1991 ‘Flash Pictures’, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Australia
1990 National Gallery of Modern Art, Rome, Italy
1990 Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne
1989 ‘Mythscapes, Aboriginal Art of the Desert’, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia
1989 Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne, Australia
1988 5th Telstra NATSIAA, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin, Australia
1988 ‘Papunya Tula Paintings’, Wagga Wagga City Art Gallery, Wagga Wagga, Australia
1987 4th Telstra NATSIAA, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin, Australia
1987 Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne, Australia
1985 2nd Telstra NATSIAA, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin, Australia
1985 ‘The Face of the Centre: Papunya Tula Paintings 1971-1984’, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia
1985 ‘Dot and circle: a retrospective survey of the Aboriginal acrylic paintings of central Australia’, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Australia
1982 Brisbane Festival, Brisbane, Australia
1982 Georges Exhibition, Melbourne, Australia
1981 Anvil Art Gallery, Albury, Australia
1977 Nigerian Festival Exhibition, Lagos, Nigeria
1974 Anvil Art Gallery, Albury, Australia


Born in Haasts Bluff, Northern Territory in 1938

Died in *unknown* in 2001


Site: Monkey Rep