Edited by Hetti Perkins, John Carty and Sarah Brown
Ala. Alatuti. Oloodoodi. Patrick. Tjungurrayi. He is a man of many names, and they speak to many lives lived. Each handle gets held for a while in different times and places. He was a young warrior by his first name, but by each of his subsequent names he has stood just as proud. By each of those names he has fought for his rights, and the rights of his people, to live their lives their way, on their terms.
Through the prism of Patrick’s art and life, this book illuminates a unique part of the twentieth century Australian history and art history. It also tells of a health crisis face Aboriginal people across Australia and an innovative and effective response to this crisis being driven by an extraordinary Indigenous organisation, the Purple House (Western Desert Dialysis).
Patrick Tjungurrayi is revered throughout the Western Desert for his strength in Aboriginal Law, feted in the art-world for the originality and power of his paintings, and respected everywhere for his stand against the inadequate health bureaucracy of central Australia. His life illuminates the history, art history, and political history of Australia throughout the twentieth century. This is his story.
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Purple House will be building the first permanent dialysis unit in the remote community of Balgo in 2024. This service will strengthen the entire community and transform the lives of dialysis patients who have been forced to move far from home for treatment – leaving country, family and community.