Tommy Watson Celebrates Western Desert

Tommy Watson Celebrates Western Desert

A painting by Tommy Watson has just arrived at Japingka. It has created considerable interest and excitement. David Wroth tells us about this latest addition to the gallery collection.

Umutju by Tommy Watson | Jap 016336
Umutju by Tommy Watson | Jap 016336

We have a large painting by Tommy Watson now hanging in the gallery. It's a two-metre painting in his classic style amalgamating large areas of red dots with minimal markings accentuated in contrasting colours. The entire surface of the canvas becomes a visual arena comprising fields of red dots. There are multiple shifts of tones with small markings indicating different sections of country. The two-metre painting is entitled Umutju, and is very much in the signature style of Tommy Watson.

It has the deep red tones, with other closely tonal areas, with small contrast areas of white and yellow. Tommy's country is Western Desert country, where satellite images of the country look very much like Tommy's paintings. It is as though this late master distilled the meaning and look of his country into his canvases.

Tommy Watson at Work
Tommy Watson at Work

The imagery portrays vast, expansive desert space with tracks and erosion lines and salt lakes that are marked out across the country. We very much get that sense of landscape viewed at a great distance in the paintings of Tommy Watson.

This painting is wonderful to have in the gallery, now on display. It is a powerful work with a strong presence by a master painter.

See More: Tommy Watson Artist Page