Yannima Tommy Watson — Indigenous Australian Artist

Yannima Tommy Watson (1935–2017 )was a senior APY Lands painter who was born around 1935 at Anamarapiti, about 40kms from Irrunytju Community (Wingellina) in Western Australia. Watson was a Pitjantjatjara man, his skin group was Karimara.”My grandfather’s country, grandmother’s country.”Tommy Watson was known for his use of strong vibrant colours, that symbolically represented the ancestral stories of his country. Judith Ryan, Senior Curator of Indigenous Art at the National Gallery of Victoria, has described Watson’s colour as “incandescent”. Watson’s understanding of Australia’s physical environment and its relationship with the ancestral stories came to form the central element of his paintings. Watson created his works on premium Belgian linen and favoured Ara Acrylic paint, created by the Gerrit Rietveld Academie. Tommy has been associated with the ‘Colour Power’ movement that developed within the Indigenous art scene between 1984 and 2004.

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