Lappi Lappi by Fred Tjakamarra

Fred Tjakamarra 'Lappi Lappi' 120 x 80cm.jpg
Fred Tjakamarra 'Lappi Lappi' 120 x 80cm.jpg

Lappi Lappi by Fred Tjakamarra


Fred Tjakamarra  1925 - 2006

Acrylic on canvas

120 x 80cm

© Fred Tjakamarra/Copyright Agency, 2018

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A senior Law Man, the late Fred Tjakamarra was born into a traditional lifestyle in Warlpiri country north of Lake Mackay, south of the Balgo Hills community, in a region mapped by the border separating the Northern Territory from Western Australia.

His first experience of white men was seeing stockmen droving cattle using camels, en route to Alice Springs. As a young man, he and his travelling companions were forcibly removed by truck, destined for an Aboriginal settlement in Alice Springs. He escaped when the vehicle stopped for water.

Tjakamarra spent some time at the old Balgo Mission, later working as a stockman and cook on East Kimberley cattle stations, including Flora Valley and Gordon Downs (Ringer Soak). He began painting in the mid-1980s and produced a large body of work, including prints, for the Warlayirti Artists Centre.

The subject matter of Tjakamarra’s art includes Wati Kutjarra (Two Men Dreaming), Karnaputta (Women’s Law), Water and Rainmaking, Tingari Cycle, Rainbow Snakes and Waringarri designs. 

Lappi Lappi, an important fragment of his country south of Balgo in the Great Sandy Desert, is depicted here  where the artist has painted some of his country which is south of Balgo in the Great Sandy Desert.  The country known as Lappi Lappi features a series of tjurrnu (soakwaters), between some of these tjurrnu and warran (claypans).  The country is shown during the peak of the wet season with the rivers in full flood.

Text ©Warlayirti Artists


National Gallery of  Victoria

The Laverty Collection

Berndt Museum of Anthropology, University of Western Australia

John Curtin Collection, Curtin University

Kluge Ruhe Collection, USA

The Kelton Foundation, USA

Aboriginal Art Museum, The Netherlands