I recently had the honor of meeting Yammina Tommy Watson at the launch of Marie Giessler’s book, “Yannima Pikarli Tommy Watson” at Ariel Book Store in Sydney, 24 March 2011.
I was unaware that Tommy would be present at the book launch. As I entered the store, the first thing I saw was an array of amazing book covers, red orange yellow and white dots, so typical of Tommy’s bold vibrant, almost shocking paintings. Further into the store, on a platform, was a large recent work that Tommy had painted and there sitting in a wheelchair, was the man himself. Much smaller than his works suggest, Tommy had an amazing quiet demeanor, quite unfazed by the gathering buzz that was accumulating around him.
After a moving address and official launch of the book by Marie Giessler, I introduced myself to Tommy and thanked him for the remarkable impact that his art has had on me. I asked him not to stop painting because I truly believe that what he conveys in his art, is so pure and unadulterated by fashion or phase.
The head-line in the next morning’s paper was that Tommy will not paint for much longer – this tour was promoted as a swan-song, I certainly hope not.
The book is a beautiful coffee table explosion of Tommy Watson power and energy, not dissimilar to the small version published by Macmillan Mini Art Series last year.


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