Pitjantjatjara artist Bill Whiskey Tjapaltjarri was born around 1920 in Pirupa Akla, a country near the Olgas and west of Ayers Rock. He was a ngangkari, a traditional healer, and started painting around 2004, when he was in his mid-80s.
The main subjects in his paintings are the Rock Holes at Pirupa, the story of his travels to Areyonga and Haasts Bluff and also the mythical battle told in the Cockatoo Dreaming that took place in his birthplace, Pirupa Alka. His paintings are steeped in authority and traditional knowledge. The bright colors in his works are said to reflect his character - daring, colorful and strong-minded.
Bill Whiskey's bold, bright painting style reflected his indomitable spirit. At the age of 80, he was widely known as a powerful healer and keeper of sacred knowledge. His paintings, the first to depict the great Dreaming story and the creation of important sites in his country, are imbued with authority and steeped in traditional knowledge. Although Bill Whiskey only started painting in the last four years of his life, his paintings quickly became some of the most sought-after Aboriginal artwork in Australia and abroad. Despite his age, Whiskey was able to complete a number of large canvases within a body of work of no more than 200 works. Bill Whiskey Tjapaltjarri passed away in 2008.
Born in Australia in 1920
Died in *unknown* in 2008