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Malcolm Jagamarra

Born:           1955
People:         Lander River Warlpiri
Language:       Warlpiri
Area:           Lander River, Central Western Desert. N.T.

Jukurrpa: (Dreamings)

Jardiwanpa (Fire), Warna (Snake), Yarriprir (Green Snake), Ngapa (water), Ngatijirri (Budgerigar), Napaljarri-warna (Seven Sisters), Wulyparrari (Milky Way), Wardapi (Goanna), Marlu (Rock Kangaroo), Purruparnta (Frog), Ngarlkirdi (Tree Witchety Grub), Wanakiji and Yakajirri (Bush Tomato), Yarla (Bush Potato), Marnakiji (Bush Lantana), Marlpa (Bush Beans), Pirli-ngawurrpa (Rock Wallaby).

Kirda: (Owner)          Wulyparrari (Milky Way), Pawa (Mount Barkly), Warntaparri, Pirliwarnawarna (Yirdi), Yalyajiyi (Central Mount Stuart).

Kurdungurlu : (Policeman)              Wardarpi (Goanna), Munyupanji (Boomerang Hole), Kunanyirri

(Mount Leichhardt), Purturlu (Mount Theo), Patirlirri, Yinapaka (Lake Surprise).

Art Residencies:

Art Gallery of New South Wales Sydney, Australia; 1992 Club Med Queensland, Australia; Crystal Fahren Hoest Gallery Hamelen, Germany; Mendelson Gallery Pittsburgh, Pa, USA, Oct. 1993; Rebecca Hossack Gallery London, United Kingdom; Parker Gallery Sydney, Australia; Global Colours Sydney, Australia, Jan 1994; Youth Theatre Brisbane, Australia, April 1995.

Corporate Designs:

Kellogs’ Australia; Hardy’s Wines Australia; Duty Free Shoppers Sydney, Australia; Telecom Australia; Sandscapes United States of America; Responsible Drinking Campaign Northern Territory Government, Australia.

Media Coverage:

SBS Television Australia; ABC 7:30 Report Australia; Channel 9 – Wonder World Australia; Cable Network Television United States of America; Qantas Inflight Video Magazine International; NTD8 Television Northern Territory, Australia; The Bulletin (Newsweek) Australia; Antiques and Art Magazine Australia; Telegraph Mirror Melbourne, Australia; The Age Newspaper Melbourne, Australia; Inside Melbourne, Sydney, Australia; 2SER FM Sydney, Australia; Sydney Morning Herald Sydney, Australia; The Australian; Australia Koori Mail Sydney, Australia; Australian Way Qantas Inflight Magazine; Qantas Inflight Video; The Age Special Edition – Melbourne, Australia.

Book Biographies:

“200 Unsung Heroes and Heroines of Australia” “Modern Art – Ancient Icon”

“A Myriad of Dreaming – 20th Century Aboriginal Art”

“Desert Dreamings”

 “Ancient Icons”

“NANGARA, the Australian Aboriginal art exhibition” Ebes Collection


Art Gallery Of New South Wales Sydney, Australia, 1992; Barry Stern Gallery Sydney, Australia, 1992; Argyle Gallery Sydney, Australia, 1991; Gallery Savah Sydney, Australia, 1993; Emerald Hill Gallery Melbourne, Australia, 1992; Tribal Arts Gallery Melbourne, Australia, 1992; Aboriginal Gallery of Dreamings Melbourne, Australia, 1992; Queensland Art Gallery Brisbane, Australia, 1992; Reichs Museum The Netherlands, 1990; Rosequist Gallery Tuscon, Arizona, USA, 1991; Throckmorton Gallery Sante Fe, New Mexico, USA,1991; Bahti Indian Art Gallery Tuscon, Arizona, USA, 1991; Stuttgart Gallery Stuttgart, Germany, 1991; Rebecca Hosack Gallery London, United Kingdom; Australian Aboriginal Art Gallery Vineyard, Germany; Barbara Gilman Gallery of Dreaming Miami, Florida, USA; Malagra’s Gallery San Antonio, Texas, USA; Bird in the Hand Pittsburgh, Pa, USA; Mendelson Gallery Pittsburgh, Parker Gallery Sydney, Australia, February 1994/5; Pa, USA, Oct 1993; Wagner Art Gallery Hong Kong, August 1994; Holdsworth Gallery Sydney, Australia, February 1995; FireWorks Gallery Brisbane, Australia, May 1995; Nangara Exhibition, Belgium 1996; Gauguin Gallery, Singapore, 1996.


Malcolm Jagamarra was born in the Australian outback in 1955. He is the son of Minnie Napanangka, a Warlpiri woman and Gerry Maloney an Irish Bushman. As a child he travelled the land on walk about with his mother and families. They lived the traditional way, which is more than 40,000 years old. At the time as part of the ‘Aboriginal Assimilation Program’, all part Aboriginal children were taken from their families and placed in white environments. Because of this, Jagamarra’s mother would hide him in the bush whenever they visited a white homestead. At the age of six, Jagamarra was discovered by the authorities and taken to Adelaide where he spent the next eighteen years. He matriculated from Adelaide Boys High School in 1972 and starred in League Football for North Adelaide until 1975. In 1978 he returned to Alice Springs and was reunited with his family for the first time since 1960.”

He underwent the initiation ceremonies into manhood that he missed as a boy, in 1983. It was then that he learned the sacred songs and dances of his tribe, the Lander River Warlpiri.

Jagamarra’s art evolves from his tribe’s ceremonies. Aboriginal paintings were originally daubed on the ground and on bodies of the people and were not preserved. Since 1971 they have been transferred onto canvas. “It has given everyone a chance to learn about Aboriginal Dreaming,” says Jagamarra. “Our art reflects not just the land but its mythology, song and dance.” The symbols are called iconography and they are the oldest form of writing in the world. Jagamarra was the first Aboriginal Artist to use oils on his paintings and he is the leader in his style. Considered one of the most talented and dynamic Aboriginal Artists working in Australia, he has been instrumental in forging new directions for traditional art.

Malcolm Jagamarra's Artworks