was born in 1968 in Darwin. He is the son of artist Barbara Weir, and grandson of the late Minnie Pwerle, Freddie Purla began painting in 1989 at Alice Springs.
Purla regularly visited Utopia with his family as a very young child, often staying for long periods before travelling to Alice springs or Adelaide. One of his first vivid memories as a child was of the strange looking creature, the Scorpion.
The Scorpion Dreaming has been passed down to Freddie by his grandmother’s family. As it’s sting is often very painful, the scorpion is left undisturbed and respected at all times. It is rarely seen during the day and only the desert sands display the signs of the scorpion’s track.
Purla’s paintings represent the courtship dance between the male and female scorpion. Each scorpion interlock their pincers together while traveling back and forth in what can only be described as a dance. After several hours and as much as 24 hours, the tracks that are left behind create an artwork in itself on the ground. The tracks which are criss-crossed over and over again are rare to find in the desert. Freddie’s paintings powerfully represent the energy and vigour of the many movements made by the scorpions in their ritual desert dance.