Walala Tjapaltjarri was first introduced to painting by his brother Warlimpirrnga, also a painter of international acclaim. Walala's first paintings were in the classical Tingari style, a series of sacred and secret mythological songs which is associated with his Dreaming sites . In 1996 he developed his own style of work. He began abstracting the classical Pintupi designs, creating a highly graphic language to speak of his country and ceremonial sites. The rectangles so prominent in his paintings form both a physical and spiritual map. Walala and his brothers Warlimpirrnga, Thomas their sisters and Mothers walked out from their traditional country in the Western Desert into the small community at Kiwirrkura township in October 1984 near the Western Australian border following the death of a tribal elder. They had never seen a white man before, worn clothes or seen a motor vehicle and they thought the aeroplanes they had observed flying overhead were mamu (ghosts).