Yannima Tommy Watson - Australian artist, of the Pitjantjatjara people

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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