Turkey Tolson Tjupurrula

1942 – 2001 Untitled 1998 acrylic on canvas 150 x 183 cm Collection Shepparton Art Museum, donated through the Australian Cultural Gifts Program by Carrillo and Ziyin Gantner, 2013 2013.17 © estate of the artist licensed by Aboriginal Artists’ Agency Ltd

This painting depicts designs associated with the Emu Dreaming at the rockhole site of Tipunga, east of the Ehrenberg Range. In mythological times a group of Emu Ancestors came from the east and passed through this site during their travels south-west to Warman Rockhole and on to Ngatankaritja, a rockhole south of the Kintore Community, near the Docker River Road. Turkey Tolson is known for his bold, linear designs that depict Emu and Spear Dreaming’s. In this work the artist was assisted by Renata Napaltjarri, Cindy Gibson Nakamarra and Eileen Napurrula.

Turkey Tolson worked as a stockman at Haasts Bluff cattle station and later as a labourer at Papunya. One of the youngest of the original Papunya Tula shareholders, his name first appears on the company's books as a painter in 1973. In 1979 he was an artist-in-residence at Flinders University in South Australia and he went on to become Papunya Tula Artists' longest-serving chairman (1985–95).