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BILLY STOCKMAN TJAPALTJARRI

Date of Birth : c.1927
Country : Ilpitirri, Mount Denison Station, NT
Language : Anmatyerre

Billy Stockman‘s life began with tragedy. His mother and others of his family were killed in the 1928 Coniston Massacre, 280kms north of Alice Springs, while he was sleeping in a coolamon under a bush where his mother had concealed him. Just one of only two survivors, Billy was consequently found and taken in by the family of perhaps Australia’s most famous Aboriginal artist, Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri, and raised as an adopted brother.

 

BILLY WORKED AS A STOCKMAN ON NAPPERBY STATION, WHERE HE WOULD SELL CARVINGS AND BOOMERANGS TO U.S SOLDIERS STATIONED NEARBY DURING WWII. IN TIME, HE BEGAN TO PAINT DESIGNS ON THEM.

In the late 1960‘s, Billy moved to the desert settlement of Papunya, where he was part of the most important moment in the Contemporary Indigenous Art Movement – with the encouragement of local school teacher Geoffery Bardon, Billy helped paint the Honey Ant Dreaming mural on the wall of the Papunya school with Kaapa Mbitjana Tjampitjinpa, Long Jack Phillipus and other senior members of the community.

Although this painting was tragically over-painted by orders of the local government officials, it is considered the beginning of the acrylic movement. Billy Stockman was a leader amongst his people and was actively involved as a campaigner for land rights and development of more equitable conditions for Indigenous people.

Billy Stockman was a wood carver before he became a painter like Kaapa Tjampitjinpa and Clifford Possum, He was one of the first artists to start painting large scale canvasses.

BILLY STOCKMAN SERVED AS CHAIRMAN OF PAPUNYA TULA ARTISTS FROM 1976–1977 AND AS A MEMBER OF THE ABORIGINAL ARTS BOARD OF THE AUSTRALIA COUNCIL FROM 1975–1979.

He represented Papunya Tula Artists on several international cultural exchange projects and also traveled to New York in 1988 for the opening of Dreamings: The Art of Aboriginal Australia. He has now retired from painting and lives at Hetti Perkins Home for the Aged in Alice Springs.

 

COLLECTIONS

National Art Gallery of New Zealand
Art Gallery of Western Australia Perth
National Gallery of Victoria Melbourne
Artbank Sydney
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory – Darwin;
Art Gallery of South Australia Adelaide
Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami;
Museum of Victoria Melbourne
Flinders University Art Museum Adelaide
Australian Department of Archaeology and Anthropology
National University, Canberra
Australian Qantas Collection;
Donald Kahn collection
Museum of Victoria Melbourne
Campbelltown City Art Gallery;
South Australian Museum Adelaide
The Kelton Foundation Santa Monica USA
Holmes a’ Court Collection Perth

 

EXHIBITIONS

1971 Art Gallery of Western Australia

1974 Anvil Art Gallery, Albury, New South Wales;

1977 Nigerian Festival, Lagos, Nigeria;

1977 Christ College, Oakleigh, Victoria;

1982 Georges Exhibition, Melbourne, Victoria;

1983 Mori Gallery, Sydney;

1984 Anvil Art Gallery, Albury, New South Wales;

1985 Dot and Circle, a retrospective survey of the Aboriginal acrylic; paintings of Central Australia, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology Melbourne;

1985 The Face of the Centre: Papunya Tula Paintings;

1971-1984, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne;

1987 A selection of Aboriginal Art owned by the ANU, Drill Hall Gallery, Australian Capital Territory;

1988 The Inspired Dream, Life as art in Aboriginal Australia, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory and touring internationally;

1989 A selection of Aboriginal Art owned by the ANU, Drill Hall Gallery, Australian Capital Territory;

1991 Alice to Penzance, The Mall Galleries, The Mall, London;

1991 Australian Aboriginal Art from the Collection of Donald Kahn, Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami, USA;

1991 Canvas and Bark, South Australian Museum, Adelaide;

1991 The Painted Dream: Contemporary Aboriginal Paintings from the Vivien Johnson Collection, Auckland City Art Gallery

1991 Te Whare Taonga o Aoteroa National Art Gallery, New Zealand;

1992 Tjukurrpa, Museum fur Volkerkunde, Basel;

1993 Tjukurrpa, Desert Dreamings, Aboriginal Art from Central Australia;

1994, Dreamings – Tjukurrpa: Aboriginal Art of the Western Desert; The Donald Kahn collection, Museum Villa Stuck, Munich

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Australian Aboriginal Art from the Collection of Donald Kahn; 1991 Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami, USA Bardon, G., 1979, Aboriginal Art of the Western Desert, Rigby, Adelaide.

Aboriginal Australian Art, a Visual Perspective, Methuen Australia Pty Ltd, Sydney Brody, A., 1985, The face of the centre: Papunya Tula paintings 1971-1984, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Bardon, G., 1991, Papunya Tula Art of the Western Desert McPhee Gribble, Ringwood, Victoria. ©

Caruana, W., 1993, Aboriginal Art, Thames and Hudson, London. © Isaacs, J., 1989, Australian Aboriginal Paintings, Weldon Publishing, New South Wales Johnson, V., 1994, The Dictionary of Western Desert Artists Craftsman House, East Roseville, New South Wales. ©

Maughan, J., and Zimmer, J., (eds), 1986, Dot and Circle, a Retrospective Survey of the Aboriginal Acrylic Paintings of Central Australia, exhib. cat., Communication Services Unit

Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Melbourne. ©

Schulz, D., 1994, Lines from the Dreamtime, The Australian Way, Qantas in flight magazine, May 1994

West, M.K.C., (ed.), 1988, The Inspired Dream, Life as art in Aboriginal Australia, exhib. cat., Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane

1993, Tjukurrpa Desert Dreamings, Aboriginal Art from Central Australia (1971-1993), exhibition cat., Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth

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