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Tommy Yannima Watson
Life: C.1935 - 2017
Tommy Yannima Watson was a senior Pitjantjatara artist, born circa 1935 in desert country west of Irrunytju, or Wingellina, in Western Australia. Tommy was a senior law man of Karima skin group, and his traditional names of Yannima and Pikarli relate to specific sites near his birthplace at Anumarapiti, west of Irrunytju.
Although he only began painting when Irrunytju set up a painting centre in 2001, Tommy became quickly recognised for his powerful use of colour and energetic canvases, which were exhibited in Alice Springs at Desert Mob and in Darwin at the Telstra NATSIAA Art Awards. His work became highly collectable and his reputation has continued to strengthen. In 2006 he was among eight Aboriginal artists whose work was integrated into the Musee du quai Branly building in Paris. Tommy passed away in 2017.