Tali Tali Pompey

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Tali Tali Pompey
Bornc. 1945/47
Died(2011-11-16)16 November 2011
ResidenceKaltjiti, South Australia
NationalityAustralian
OccupationPainter
Years active2002 – present
OrganizationKaltjiti Arts
StyleWestern Desert art
Children6 sons, 2 daughters

Tali Tali Pompey (about 1945/1947 – 16 November 2011) was an Aboriginal artist from central Australia. She had a short career as an artist,[1] beginning only in 2002. During this time, however, her work was taken in by several major public galleries.

Life[change | change source]

Pompey was born on a sand dune near Finke, in the southern Northern Territory.[2] This inspired her name; tali is the word for a sandhill in languages of the Western Desert.[3] Pompey's parents were Yankunytjatjara people from lands further south, around Kalka and Kaṉpi in South Australia.[4] Pompey grew up in the area around Finke, and then moved south to Ernabella when she was a young woman.[2] At the time, this was a Christian mission set up for Aboriginal people coming in from the desert. While living in Ernabella, learned art and craft at the community's craft room. She learned how to sew, make batik, dye fabrics and spin sheep's wool to make rugs.[5]

Pompey's husband, who she married at Ernabella, was a Pitjantjatjara elder and law keeper for the country around Kaltjiti.[4] They moved to Kaltjiti after it was set up as an outpost in the 1960s.[5] They had 8 children, including six boys and two girls.

Pompey started painting for the community's art centre, Kaltjiti Arts, in 2002. She painted regularly and became quickly noticed by critics.[3] In 2003, one of Pompey's paintings, titled Pita, was chosen as a finalist for the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award.[6] Another of her works, Para - Desert Gums, was chosen as a finalist for the competition in 2010.[7][3]

In the ten years that she worked as an artist, Pompey's works became well represented in Australian collections.[8] In 2007, she suffered a mild stroke, which affected the movement in her left hand. She recovered and then continued to paint up until her death. She died on 16 November 2011, in Alice Springs.[9]

Artwork[change | change source]

Pompey's paintings depict features of the central Australian landscape, such as sand hills, flowers and trees. These are painted with a soft-focus, hazy look. Most of her paintings are minimalist in style, combining basic shapes of colour with dotted fields or lines.[5][3] She was known for thick brushstrokes and a wide use of colour.[4]

Pompey's designs were also used in a series of rugs made by Kaltjiti Arts, which combined traditional Kashmiri techniques with Australian Western Desert designs.

Pompey's work has been exhibited widely in Australia, mostly in group exhibitions.[4] The Mossenson Galleries in Melbourne held two solo exhibitions of Pompey's work. The first was in 2005.[5] The second was in 2012, after her death, and showed a selection of her final works.[1]

Examples of her paintings are now held in the National Gallery of Victoria,[9] and the Art Gallery of South Australia.[10]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Rothwell, Nicolas (18 May 2012). "Lives hidden in the life's work". The Australian. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Ananguku Arts (ed.). Tjukurpa Pulkatjara: The Power of the Law. Wakefield Press. p. 80. ISBN 9781862548909.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Rothwell, Nicolas (16 August 2010). "Revelatory show of strength in tradition". The Australian. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 "Tali Tali Pompey" (PDF) (in German). Freiburg im Breisgau: ArtKelch. September 2011. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 "Tali Tali Pompey - Solo Exhibition". Indigenart. Mossenson Galleries. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
  6. "Price list" (PDF). 20th National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award. Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory. 2003. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
  7. "Room brochure" (PDF). 27th National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award. Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory. Retrieved 22 November 2012.
  8. Kerr, Jack (9 November 2006). "Art from the heart of the country". ABC South Australia. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Tali Tali Pompey". Collection Online. National Gallery of Victoria. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
  10. "Pompey, Tali Tali". Art Gallery of South Australia. Retrieved 12 January 2013.