Papunya Tula Artists, NT Cat No. TT890292
Turkey Tolson was born under a tree beside a creek bed about eight kilometres east of Haasts Bluff in the early 1940s. After years working in the Haasts Bluff stock camp droving cattle to Mount Leibig, he underwent initiation into manhood. The family then moved to the Papunya settlement, where Turkey worked as a construction labourer and in the communal kitchen. In 1961 he married and moved with his young family to an outstation west of Papunya. After his first wife’s untimely death, he remarried at Papunya, where he lived during the early years of the painting movement. He joined Papunya Tula artists as one of its youngest members and painted his earliest artworks for Geoff Bardon in 1972.
This fascinating painting acts as a perfect bridge from his earlier works to the Spear Straightening paintings that were to follow. In the early 1990s, Tolson embraced aesthetic minimalism along with other Pintupi male painters, most notably Ronnie Tjampitjinpa and George Tjungurrayi.