19 July, 2005

Paddy Stewart Tjapaljarri

One of Australia's most renowned Aboriginal artists has created a major new collection of paintings to help raise money for a new generation of artists. The artist, Paddy Stewart Tjapaljarri, has found inspiration from a set of 30 school doors that he and other Walpirri men painted more than 20 years ago. In the desert settlement of Yooundamu, west of Alice Springs, Paddy Stewart has been on an artistic marathon, committing to canvas 30 famous dreamtime stories that were first painted onto doors for the local school.

"It's very interesting when you compare these canvasses to the original doors," said Wally Caruana of auction house Sotheby's. "Not one's a copy but it is a reinterpretation. It's about revisiting your ideas about something you created so many decades before."

Paddy Stewart is one of the few surviving pioneers of the world-renowned Walpirri artist movement that was born in the early 1980s. While the women started the painting, it was the project to paint the school doors to teach the children about their ancestry that drew the men in. The doors became the community's cultural and economic turning point and are hung in the South Australian Museum. Art has become the lifeblood of the community.

Paddy Stewart decided to build on the doors' international reputation and create the new paintings to raise money to rebuild one of Australia's most notable Indigenous art centres.

"They also traverse the gamut of the major ancestral stories of the Walpirri in that area," Mr Caruana said. "It's really going back to their very beginnings and anchoring, if you like, people's education from the beginning of time to the present and making it very relevant to them."

Paddy Stewart's large paintings are now hanging in Melbourne, where they will be auctioned in one line next Monday.

from the ABC
unfortunately they dont say where or when?

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