Old Man Tjapanangka from Balgo

Sad news from Balgo:

Dear colleagues,

It is with great great sadness to inform you that late yesterday afternoon, that old man Tjapanangka from Wilkinkarra ( Lake Mackay) passed away at his home with a small group of family and friends in Balgo. While his deterioration was quite sudden, we are pleased that he had little suffering and the belief is that his spirit is making its passage back to his traditional country near Wilkinkarra (Lake Mackay).

He was a great artist, a highly regarded Law man and also a Maparn (traditional healer). As everyone who was touched by this enigmatic man will remember how much he enjoyed welcoming visitors to the Art Centre and how he was a great ambassador and caretaker for Warlayirti Artists. He will be deeply missed.

Arrangements for the funeral will be forwarded in due course. Warlayirti Artists will be closed this afternoon after 12pm out of respect and then closed for the Public Holiday on Friday.

Regards

The Warlayirti Artists Committee, Sally, Annette, Will

Tjapanangka’s recent work, large paintings often featuring concentric rectagular designs in bright yellow, struck me as a personal renaissance: a senior artist undergoing rejuvenation and growth even as he approached eighty years of age. (Aboriginal Artists: dictionary of biographies lists his birth date as 1925/1929). He was also one of the senior artists to make particularly vivid designs in the fused glass techniques introduced at Balgo several years ago. Interestingly, while his late paintings tended toward the monochromatic, these small glass designs were full of bright colors and often quite bold designs.

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