William Sandy was born “in the bush” in 1944 in Pitjantjorra country around Ernabella in South Australia.
Winkilini, further to the south, is
William's country from his father and grandfathers side of the family.
He paints Dingo, Emu, Women and other dreamtime stories for this country in the traditional dot painting style mainly using earth tones.
He grew up with the nomadic lifestyle of his tribe.
Walking around his tribal lands until like many other tribal groups his people came in from the desert under pressure from the government.
Eventually the family
settled at Ernabella, South Australia where he attended the mission
From there William came to Papunya in 1973 during a walkabout, where he met and married Violet Nakamarra, sister of Michael Nelson Jagamarra.
Michael became a noted award winning artist and designer of the forecourt of the new Australian Parliment building in Canbera ACT.
They have four children a boy and three girls.
William did his first painting in 1975 influenced by the areas emerging art scene.
Teaching himself to paint while watching the other Papunya artists at work he became strongly influenced by the group.
However, it was not until the early ‘80s that he began painting regularly for Papunya Tula Artists.
It did take some time for Papunya Tula to establish itself in representing the artists of Papunya.
Slowed by the departure of Geoffrey Bardon a strong mentor of the group.
This was because it was difficult
for some to recognize that Aboriginal people had something valuable to
add to society.
In 1985 he won the Northern Territory Art Award.
His work was included in the “Dreamings” show, which toured in the subsequent show of Papunya Tula Artists at the John Weber Gallery in New York.
William Sandy had a solo exhibition in 1990 at gallery Gabrielle Pizzi.
Major Collections holding his works:
Holmes a Court
Broken Hill Art Gallery
Wollongong City Art Gallery
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Alby Stockman, Amy Johnson, Barbara Charles Napaljarri, Beatrice Gibson Nangala, Beth Nungarrayi Patrick, Brenda Lynch Nungurrayi, Caroline Numina Pananka, Cassidy Tjapaltjarri, Colin Liddy, Cowboy Louie Pwerle, Dulcie Williams Napangardi, Isobel Hagen Nungarryi, Jacinta Numina Waugh, Jack Cook Jangala, Lanita Numina, Lesley Daniels Jamijinpa, Long Jack Phillipus Tjakamarra, Louise Numina Napanankana, Lucy Dixon Napurrurla, Margarette Looney, Mary Dixon Nungarrayi, Maureen Nampitjinpa Hudson, Michael Nelson Jagamara, Michael Tjapanardi Tommy, Peter Leo Tjakamarra, Reggie Sultan, Sambo Burra Burra, Sandra Scholes Escobar, Sarah Morton Napananga, William Sandy, Willie Gudabi, Our Gallery,