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Artist Profile

Sunfly Tjampitjin

Born
c. 1919 - 1996

Skin
Tjampitjin

Language
Kukatja

Biography

Sunfly was a greatly respected Law man and elder who supported the coming of the Christian church to the Balgo area. He also worked with anthropologist Ronald Berndt, recording Dreaming stories and designs over the course of some two decades. in 1981, he was part of a group that produced stone sculptures for the ethnographic art market with Warwick Nieass. During this period, artistic activity was stirring in a number of places in the desert. Sunfly was involved in painting the banners for Father Peile's Jubilee in 1981 and in the Art from the Great Sandy Desert exhibition (AGWA 1986). In 1988, a mosaic based on his artwork was installed in Forrest Place, Perth. Sunfly is survived by his wife Bai Bai Napangarti, a senior artist in her own right, and three daughters.

Collections: AGWA; Berndt Museum; Holmes a Court Collection; NGA; NGV.