c. 1943 - 2017
Born: Mayilili, Well 33 Canning Stock Route, WA
LANGUAGE GROUP: Manyjilyjarra, Kukatja
COMMUNITY: Kiwirrkurra, WA
Patrick (Olodoodi) Tjungurrayi was born near Well 33 on the Canning Stock Route in Western Australia in c.1943.
As a child and young adult, Patrick lived a traditional bush life, first coming into contact with non-indigenous society in 1957. Patrick eventually walked out of the desert by following the Canning Stock Route to the old Balgo Mission.
By the late 1980s, Patrick was painting regularly, eventually becoming a senior artist for Papunya Tula Artists. In the late 1990s, he was heavily involved in the movement by western desert artists to raise money for dialysis units on-country, culminating in the Western Desert Dialysis Appeal which raised over $1 million.
"If contemporary Aboriginal art has become renowned for its flickering, optical power, then Patrick Tjungurrayi would have to be described as a master of the form. His works pulse with desert warmth and where all too much Aboriginal art on the market appears to be a pastiche of traditional forms to capture a bewildered and naive market, Tjungurrayi's work is both unique in structure and indisputably heart-felt." Australian Art Collector Magazine 2005.
Over the years, Patrick continued to grow in stature and acclaim as an artist, his status being cemented in 2008 when he won the prestigious Western Australian Premier's Indigenous Art Award with his depiction of scrub fire in his Gibson Desert homeland. After this, Patrick's artworks continued to rise in value with works selling for in excess of $80,000.
However, by 2009, Patrick was already suffering severe renal issues. This resulted in his later years being dominated by health-related issues, restricting the art legacy, at least in terms of volume, that he was able to leave.
Patrick eventually passed away in Alice Springs Hospital in December 2017.
1993: Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth
1997: Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide
1997: Papunya Tula Artists, Alice Springs
1997: Utopia Art, Sydney
1998, 2000, 2001: Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne
1999: Museums and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory, Darwin
2000: Subiaco, Western Australia
2000: Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
2001: Palm Beach, Florida, USA
2001: Chapman Gallery, Canberra
2001: Araluen Art Centre, Alice Springs
2001: Vivien Anderson Gallery, Melbourne
2002: Thornquest Gallery, Gold Coast
2002: Coomalie Cultural Centre, Batchelor
2002: Art Mob Aboriginal Fine Art, Tasmania
2002: Fremantle Art Centre, Perth
Title: Emu Dreaming at Boundary Bore
Details: Synthetic polymer paint on linen, 183 x 152 cm
Auction Price: $43,200
Auction House: Lawson~Menzies, Aboriginal Fine Art, Sydney, 23/05/2007, Lot No. 15
Patrick has had 42 works listed from the 1970's onwards.