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Bill Walls: Chambers Pillar, NT

The  Artist

Born in Victoria in 1940, Bills studied in Melbourne and worked as a designer with the ABC from 1966 to 1972. A painter, screen printer, etcher, illustrator and teacher, he depicts the Australian landscape and its historical buildings in his work. He has held solo exhibitions since 1970. Between 1975 and 1985 he provided illustrations for seven limited edition sketch books. During this time he travelled to Europe, spending time in Germany to train in advanced etching techniques.

Bill Walls Chambers Pillars

The Work of  Art

Chambers Pillar is limited edition screen print  produced and published in 1987. It depicts the rock formation known as Chambers Pillar near Alice Springs , Northern Territory.  The work shows the desert landscape- red ochres of the desert floor with a scattering of  scrub and the pillar in the middle ground.  The work is well composed with an interesting clash of colours.

Chambers Pillar is a sandstone rock formation that rises about 50 metres from the ground. The pillar is marked by historic grafitti  including those of Alfred Giles and John Ross who passed by the formation on their second expedition in 1870. The  rock has major significance for the local indigenous  population.  In their dreamtime,  the pillar is the Gecko ancestor Itirkawara, who was exiled for taking a wife from the wrong skin group. When he and his wife stopped to rest among the sand dunes they each turned into one of the locally prominent rock formations: Itirkawara became the Pillar; and his wife became Castle Rock, about 500 metres (1,640 ft) to the north-east.