Originally a carver of wooden objects, Tommy Lowry Tjapaltjarri joined the first group of painters at Papunya in 1971 when Geoffrey Bardon encouraged the senior men to paint in European materials – thus leading to the formation of the cooperative Papunya Tula Artists.
The main subject of Tjapaltjarri’s paintings are the Tingari ancestors, particularly in the guise of two Great Snakes in his customary lands country around Patjarr in the Gibson Desert in Western Australia – one of the most remote locations in the continent.
Lowry’s early paintings refer to ceremony and the associated objects – for example, his earliest recorded painting from 1971, Three Corroboree Poles,
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