George Ward Tjungurrayi was born near Lararra, east of Tjukurla in Western Australia around 1945. He now lives and works in Warakurna and Alice Springs.
He began painting for the Papunya Tula Artists around 1976 and is one of the senior painters from the region and now one of the most highly regarded Indigenous painters still working.
A Pintupi man, George Ward's country is north-west of Kintore through to the Western Australian border. After having met a welfare patrol in 1963, George moved into Papunya where he undertook various jobs in the community. He began painting for the Papunya Tula Artists around 1976 and is one of the senior painters from the region and now one of the most highly regarded Indigenous painters still working. George is the half-brother†of other famous artists Willy Tjungurrayi and Yala Yala Gibbs.
His bright colour palette of reds, deep browns, greens and oranges ingeniously recreates the iconography of the Tingari Cycles and stories associated with a sacred site near Lake MacDonald, a dreaming he is custodian of and which is also painted by Willy Tjungarrayi. Through repetitive use of the Tingari concentric squares and circles, George's mature works have a sophistication, strength, and beauty unparalleled in the Indigenous oeuvre.
In 2004 he won the Wynne Prize for Landscape Painting, which is†Australia's most prestigious landscape art award. This critical recognition has underpinned his influence not only on Indigenous imagery and culture but on Australian culture more widely.
George Ward's work is held in major collections both in Australia and abroad, including The Australian National Gallery, Canberra, The National Gallery of Victoria and the Art Gallery of NSW.