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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Clifford Possum Study 1, 2002

Tim Johnson

pencil and polymer vinyl paint on canvas (support: 30.0 cm x 25.0 cm)

Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri AO (1933-2002) was a pioneer of the contemporary Aboriginal art movement that emerged at the Papunya settlement in Central Australia. A member of the Anmatyerre tribe, he was born on Napperby Station near Alice Springs. While working as a stockman, he developed an extensive knowledge of the Dreaming trails and sites that crisscross the McDonnell Ranges. This later informed a series of large 'map paintings' in which he portrayed these trails as deeds of title to his ancestral land. A retrospective in London in 1988 and his first solo exhibition - also in London - in 1990 generated critical acclaim in Europe and North America. Toward the end of his life Tjapaltjarri was widely considered to be one of Australia's finest painters.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Morris Low 2011
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
© Tim Johnson

Accession number: 2011.49

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Tim Johnson (age 55 in 2002)

Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri AO (age 69 in 2002)

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

Donated by

Dr Morris Low (2 portraits)

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.