Lionel Possum Tjungurrayi
1972 - 2019
Born: Napperby Region, NT
LANGUAGE GROUP: Anmatyerre
COMMUNITY: Alice Springs, NT
Lionel Possum Tjungurrayi was the youngest of three siblings and the only son of the great Aboriginal artist Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri. Lionel began painting at a young age with his sisters Gabriella and Michelle Possum. Like his sisters, Lionel was taught by his father who is considered one of the most renowned painters from the original group of artists that founded the western desert art movement.
Lionel's work has a strong connection to the Dreamtime stories passed down by his father. He incorporated strong figurative elements with classical Aboriginal dot painting techniques as well important topography associated with dreaming sites made famous by Clifford Possum.
Not only did Lionel paint with the technical brilliance demonstrated by Clifford, he was also very familiar with the detailed songs and stories associated with the Aboriginal Dreamings he depicted. When encouraged, he would sing and dance the Dreamtime story he was relating, fulfilling his duty in keeping the Dreaming alive. This was a responsibility his father had ensured Lionel was aware of.
Lionel first exhibited with his father and sisters at Aranda Art in the exhibition Generations in 2009.
Lionel sadly passed away in March 2019, aged just 47.