- Skin Name:Yannima
- Region:Irrunytju, Western Desert
- Dreaming:Ancestral stories
Yannima Tommy Watson is a senior Pitjantjatjara artist who was born circa 1930s, some 44km west of the tiny isolated community of Irrunytju in Australia’s central western desert.
He began painting in 2002 following the establishment of the community arts centre at Irrunytju in 2001, of which Watson was a founding member and has since then sprung to prominence both nationally and internationally.
In this harsh and ancient country, through the guidance of his father, Watson gained a deep understanding of his physical environment and its relationship with the ancestral stories, collectively known as Tjukurrpa which have come to form the central element of his paintings.His artworks fetch high prices and are highly sought after.
“My grandfather’s country, grandmother’s country. When they were alive, they would take me around the country, when I was a kid. That Dreamtime country. That’s why we look after the country, go out whenever we can, see if the rock-holes are good.”
I want to paint these stories so that others can learn and understand about our culture and country.
Strong vibrant colours such as oranges, burgundy, reds, ivory, blue, pinks (and more recently highlights of green) create unfettered, sumptuous and complex compositions that symbolically represent the stories embedded in his country. The large shimmering dots that surge in waves across the canvas enable one to view the landscape as a topography shaped by its cultural importance.
- © Artists image taken by Arts Photographer and Gallerist Sabine Haider, Central Art 2010
- John McDonald (2005-11-24). The Australian Way - December - Art (pdf). Qantas. http://www.unc.edu/home/owen/downloads/QANTAS%201205.pdf. Retrieved 2007-11-21. BORN C1930-32. WARAKURNA, WA. Since 2002 Watson has emerged as arguably the outstanding painter of the Western Desert page 56
- Agathon Galleries (pdf). Archived from the original on 2007-09-14. http://web.archive.org/web/20070914202626/http://www.agathon.com.au/agathon/artistsbio/artist_bio.php?id=31. Retrieved 2007-11-21. Born: c1935 at Anamarapiti
- McCulloch, Alan; Susan McCulloch, Emily McCulloch Childs (2006). The new McCulloch's Encyclopedia of Australian Art. Fitzroy, VIC: Aus Art Editions in association with The Miegunyah Press. p. 179. ISBN 052285317X.
- Claire Armstrong, ed (2006). Australian Indigenous Art Commission: Musee du quai Branly. Eleonora Triguboff, Art & Australia, and Australia Council for the Arts. ISBN 0646460455.
- Guiding lights: The year in visual arts The Sydney Morning Herald
- MusÃ©e du Quai Branly, Paris
- Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney
- National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
- National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
- Western Australian Art Gallery, Perth
- South Australian Art Gallery, Adelaide
- Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin
- Elizabeth and Colin Laverty, Sydney
- Patrick Corrigan, Sydney
- 2010 Irrunytju Artists, Agathon Galleries, Sydney
- 2009-2010 Emerging Elders - honouring senior Indigenous artists , National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
- 2009 Kutu Wara (The Last One), Solo Exhibition, Agathon Galleries Sydney
- 2009 Nganmapa Ngura (My Country) Irrunytju Artists, Linton and Kay Fine Art, Perth
- 2009 New Works: South Western Desert Art of Australia, Agathon Galleries Sydney, Melbourne
- 2009 Nganampa Tjukurpa: South Western Desert Art of Australia', Agathon Galleries Sydney
- 2009 Agathon Galleries Sydney, Melbourne
- 2008 Agathon Galleries Sydney, Melbourne
- 2008 Lismore Gallery
- 2008 2003, 2002 Selected for Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award
- 2007 Musee du Quai Branly, Paris (permanent exhibition)
- 2007 One Sun, One Moon, Art Gallery of New South Wales, NSW
- 2007 Tommy Watson, Solo Exhibition, Agathon Galleries, NSW
- 2007 Senior Irrunytju Artists, Agathon Galleries, VIC
- 2007 Irrunytju Fundraiser Exhibition Agathon Galleries, NSW
- 2006 Tommy Watson, Solo Exhibition, Agathon Galleries, VIC
- 2006 Landmarks, National Gallery of Victoria, VIC
- 2006 MusÃ©e du Quai Branly Paris, France
- 2005 Tommy Watson, Agathon Solo Exhibition, Sydney NSW
- 2005 Cairns Regional Art Gallery, QLD
- 2005 Wollongong City Art Gallery, NSW
- 2005 Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) Gallery, VIC
- 2005 Ngayuku Ngura (My Country), Vivien Anderson Gallery, VIC
- 2005 Senior Irrunytju Men, Aboriginal and Pacific Gallery, NSW
- 2004 Colour Power: Aboriginal Art post 1984, National Gallery of Victoria, VIC
- 2004 NATSIAA - Celebrating 20 Years, National Archives of Australia, ACT
- 2004 Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute, SA
- 2002/2003/2008 Finalist in Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Awards