Untitled by Turkey Tolson Tjupurrula (born c.1938 – 2001) - 1997 | Michael Reid Gallery

Turkey Tolson Tjupurrula (born c.1938 – 2001)
Untitled, 1997

acrylic on linen
153 × 122 cm
Community stock number: 9710066


Papunya Tula Artists Pty Limited, NT


Turkey Tolson was born near Haasts Bluff in the Northern Territory. After his initiation into manhood, his family moved to Papunya, where he lived during the early years of the painting movement. He joined Papunya Tula artists as one of its youngest members, painting his earliest artworks for Geoff Bardon in 1972.

During his early period, Turkey Tolson was one of the most innovative and figurative artists of the Papunya Tula movement. In the 1980s, he travelled to Paris with Joseph Jurra Tjapaltjarri to create a sand painting as part of the Peintres Aborigines d’Australie exhibition. His prints were included in the comprehensive survey of Aboriginal printmaking New Tracks, Old Land, which was shown to international acclaim in America, touring 25 venues throughout Australia in the early 1990s.

Turkey Tolson was elected Chairman of Papunya Tula in 1985 and held this role until 1995, despite painting for a variety of outside dealers from the early 1990s onward. He became one of the company’s best-known artists.


This painting depicts designs associated with the Two Travelling Women at the rockhole site of Munni Munni, south-east of the Kintore community. The women later journeyed north to Kintore and then north-west to Initi and Pinari. These two women travelled over vast areas of the western desert, stopping at many sites along the way. They sang the songs and performed the dances associated with the places they visited.

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