Collection: Tommy Watson


Tommy Watson is a Senior Pitjantjatjara painter who was born around 1935 at Anamarapita, 40kms from Irrunytju community in the Western Australian desert.

As a young man Tommy lived a semi-nomadic life with his family, walking thousands of kilometres from waterhole to waterhole. During this time, he learnt where drinking water and various food sources could be found. From his father he learnt how to use the coals of the fire to make spears and to carve spear tips and shields from sections of mulga trees.

Before beginning to paint for Irrunytju Arts, Tommy worked as a stockman in the deserts around Mount Ebenezer, 200 kilometres east of Uluru and then Yuendumu. He later returned to his homelands to live a largely traditional lifestyle.

Tommy Watsonwas one of the founding artists of the Irrunytju art centre and it was here he began to paint in 2001.

In 2005, Tommy was commissioned along with seven other Australian indigenous artists to produce artwork to be permanently installed in the Musee du Quai Branly in Paris, France, which officially opened in 2006. His painting Wipu rockhole (2006) was scaled up and reproduced on stainless steel tiles which adorn a ceiling within the museum.

Tommy Watson is one of Australia's most renowned Aboriginal artists whose works are collected by galleries and private collectors in Australia and overseas. Sadly Tommy passed away in late 2017.