Yala Yala Gibbs Tjungurrayi
Yala Yala Gibbs Tjungurrayi was one of the founding members of the Western desert Aboriginal art movement.
In the early part of his career, he painted on Composition board. He is best known for his depictions of the Tingari cycle and for helping create the “Tingari” style of aboriginal art. His later works are on Canvass and maintain a high standard and exemplify what most people would consider aboriginal art.
The aim of this article is to assist readers in identifying if their Aboriginal painting is by Yala Yala Gibbs Tjungurrayi. It compares examples of his work. It also gives some background to the life of this fascinating artist.
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Yala Yala Gibbs Tjungurrayi Early Life
He first left his homelands west of Lake Macdonald in 1962 with his wife Ningura Napurrula. His son had suffered severe burns and they traveled to Papunya settlement for medical treatment.
He briefly returned to his homeland in 1963 as a guide for welfare patrols.
In 1971 Geoff Bardon became a local school teacher at Papunya primary school. He tried to encourage local children to paint in their own traditional style. When he found out only older men could paint these stories he started a men’s painting group.
He used a restricted range of ochre colors that helped convey his sense of connection to his country.
In 1975, forty-four out of forty-six paintings, in a Perth exhibition, were turned to the wall in response to the demands of a visiting group of Pitjantjatjara men. They were deeply disturbed by overt references to their secret beliefs and ceremonies.
Papunya Tula painters were forced to pay compensation to the Pitjantjatjara men. Paintings from that time on were more stylized and sacred elements veiled.
This force style change caused some artists like Anatjari, Kaapa and Timmy Payunka to become artistically stifled. Yala Yala though had a natural talent for conceiving uncomplicated yet arresting arrangements. His paintings along with Johnny Tjupurrula and John Tjakamarra soon accelerated to the forefront of the aboriginal painting movement. Aboriginal art became increasingly abstract and traditional design elements used and rearranged.
In 1981 Yala Yala moved from Papunya to Kintore to establish an outstation at
His art was in high demand and this was due in part to Andrew Crocker the art manager of Papunya Tula. Andrew promoted the paintings as contemporary art rather than ethnographic imagery and sold to collectors and galleries rather than museums.
In accord with market demand, Yala Yala broadened his experimentation with abstraction. He was free to develop his own signature Tingari style.
By the late 1980’s Yala Yala Tingari paintings fell out
He continued living in his outstation at
Yala Yala Gibbs is sometimes called Yala Yala Gibson
Yala Yala Gibbs Tjungurrayi Images
The following images are not the complete known work by this artist but give a good idea of his style and range.
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