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In the desert with the great Tommy Watson



Tommy Watson is justly regarded as one of the greatest of his generation of Aboriginal artists. In fact , Art Equity goes one further and describes Tommy as the “greatest living indigenous artist.”

Now thought to be in his 80’s Tommy can no longer walk and has to be helped by his daughter and carer. His work however continues its march to its position at the top of the tree.

Tommy is considered a first contact Aboriginal, raised in the traditions of the nomadic desert people before contact with white men. He later worked as a stockman and a labourer before taking up painting around 2001 and has since blossomed into a master of colour and form.


His works feature vibrant blues, oranges and whites, colours that don’t exist in the deserts of Central Australia but have great power and vibrancy. They are more abstract than many of his contemporaries and while using the dot style are not as ordered and patterned as other traditional artists.

Tommy is now represented by Chris Simon at Yanda Art in Alice Springs and Tommy has been painting on the large 5metre canvasses being produced at Yanda. His works are finding a ready market in Asia and Europe for large sums of money, proving his status as the leading Aboriginal artist.

Tommy is pictured with his latest work in the dry creek bed behind Yanda Art in Alice Springs.



See the new Indigenous art DVD from InsideArt.tv available for schools: insideart.tv/education

See also: www.insideart.tv


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