Andrew Highfold Tjupurrula
Andrew Highfold Tjupurrula was born in 1958 and lived in Crystal Brook (South Australia) He relocated to Alice Springs later on, where he began to learn and paint traditional Aboriginal stories passed down to him.
Andrew is a person from the Stolen Generation: The Stolen Generations (also known as Stolen Children) were the 100.000 children of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent who were removed from their families by the Australian Federal and State government agencies and church missions, under acts of their respective parliaments. The removals occurred in the period between approximately 1905 and 1969, although in some places children were still being taken until the 1970s.
From his early employment as an apprentice to his role as a local council worker, in 1983 Andrew broke new territory becoming the first Indigenous ambulance officer in South Australia possibly the nation and is fondly remembered by colleagues. After eleven years of service, an accident would be the catalyst for another change in direction.
After a long journey Andrew Highfold has been able to reconnect with his close Aboriginal family. He comes from a family with nine children. Andrew is now married with three children of his own and a granddaughter. He celebrates family and culture through his art.
He believes that his paintings are gifts from his Mother and Grandmother’s spirits.
Creating history and country visuals from family knowledge, Andrew believes painting has provided him a point of connectivity to his Aboriginal heritage.
“I still have to every now and then pinch myself because I’ve never thought that I could paint to the stage I’m painting at now.”
“Knowing that I can paint these pictures and I can paint the story that was told to me, I’m very proud to do that and I can share this with the rest of the population, so to speak.”
Matching his family history and documentation is a process Andrew Highfold is still continuing with, today.