c.1927 - 2015
Born: Ilpitirri near Mount Denison, NT
COMMUNITY: Papunya, NT
A proud family man from the Anmatyerre people in Central Australia, Billy was one of the original stockmen and founders of the Papunya community in the Central Desert.
In 1971 Geoffrey Bardon a white school teacher assigned to the Papunya School began a project of painting a mural using the aboriginal colours and traditional iconography. Along with three other artists, Billy Stockman, took over the project which became the first piece of Central Desert Art to be exhibited. These artists held vitally important tribal positions and used the existing system of desert culture symbols to depict their Dreamings and their relationship with the land.
Billy Stockman soon emerged as one of the most prolific and important artists of his time. The powerful and heroic dreaming symbols of his paintings are charged with authority and religious knowledge. The ebullient texture of his work is anchored by a metaphysical core and a deep affinity with the land.
Billy's work has been seen around the world in several travelling exhibitions, as well as being featured in many Galleries and Collections through out Australia. In 1988 he was involved with the opening and exhibited in New York for the "Dreamings: Art of Aboriginal Australia'. This exhibition traveled to Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and the 'All Black Festival' in South Africa. In recent years the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra has acquired his painting as well as the New South Wales Art Gallery, Art Gallery of South Australia, University of WA Anthropology Museum.
Known as one of Australia's most exceptional artists, Billy Stockman Japaltjarri, through his paintings, is able to promote Aboriginal culture throughout the world helping to develop the resurgence of the Dreaming as well as a healthy economic base for the Aboriginal communities. It is important that the spirit of Jukurrpa is revived to aid in the healing of the entire planet. Focusing on the spiritual content of Aboriginal society Billy is able to incorporate this strong foundation with a modern definition for all to understand and benefit from.