Doris Thomas

Doris Thomas, also known as Arlyetilhe, was born in 1948 just south of Mparntwe (Alice Springs) at Deep Well Station. She later relocated to Maryvale Station which became Titjikala community. Currently residing in Mparntwe, Thomas joined Tangentyere Artists in 2010. She is sophisticated in both mark making and composition, using her animated figures and varied colour palette to tell her stories dynamically and clearly.

Thomas paints iconic scenes from her lived experiences, providing snapshots into life on stations and in community. These scenes lay bare the realities of being forced off one’s land and document the transition of Titjikala community from the old days to now. Through her paintings she recounts stories from her childhood; her father’s cameleering, the first tin sheds built in Titjikala and lining up for rations with a flour bag. Thomas’ paintings also capture the present day; the hive of activity at Titjikala shop on pension day and cruising around in motorcars.

Thomas’ work is held by the Art Gallery of South Australia, National Gallery of Victoria and Artbank as well as housed in many private collections.