Freddy West was one of the pioneering painters of Papunya Tula Artists early years, and a strong force behind the establishment of the Pintupi community, Kiwirrkura, in the early 1980s. His work is held in major public and private collections.
Born in the desert around present day Kiwirrkura, Freddy was still a young man when he and his family arrived in Papunya in the ’60s. Freddy remembered meeting Jeremy Long’s Welfare Branch patrols out near Jupiter Well in WA and arranging with them to be picked up the following year from a site further to the east. He experimented with a few paintings in Geoffrey Bardon’s time and then after a break of some years resumed work in the ’80s. In 1981 he joined the move back to the Pintupi homelands. His country lay around Muntardi and Jigalong to the north of Kiwirrkura along the western shores of the great salt lake Wilkinkarra, and Yunalla, a rockhole in the Great Sandy Desert. He was the moving force behind the establishment of Kiwirrkura in the mid ’80s and lived there with most of his 15 children. His sons Tony and Bobby began painting occasionally in the late 1980s and early 1990s respectively.