Clay Pits


Tribe: Warlpirri Area: Central & Western Desert Born: Born 1955 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 Malcolm lived the traditional way of life and travelled the land on walkabout with his mother and family. At the time, as part of the ‘Aboriginal Assimilation Program’, all Aboriginal children were taken from their families and placed in white environments. Because of this, Malcolm’s mother would hide him whenever they visited a white homestead. At the age of six, Malcolm 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 stared in League Football for North Adelaide until 1975. In 1978 Malcolm returned to Alice Springs and was reunited with his family for the first time since 1960. In 1983 Malcolm underwent manhood initiation ceremonies he had missed as a boy. It was then that he learnt the secret songs and dances of his tribe, the Lander River Warlpiri. Malcolm’s art evolved from his tribe’s ceremonies. Aboriginal paintings were originally daubed on the ground and on the bodies of the people and were therefore not preserved. Since 1971 they have been preserved in the form of acrylic paint on canvas. “It has given everyone a chance to learn about Aboriginal Dreamings”, says Jagamarra. “Our art reflects not just the land but its mythology, song and dance”. The symbols are called “iconography” and are the oldest in the world. Malcolm was the first Aboriginal artist to use oils on his paintings and he is the leader in his style. Malcolm is considered to be one of the most talented and dynamic Aboriginal artists working in Australia and has been instrumental in forging new directions for traditional arts. In 1993 Malcolm was commissioned by Telecom Australia to create the paintings that appeared on a series of phonecards in celebration of the UN Year of the World’s Indigenous People. In 2004 Malcolm was publicised for the painting of a cello for the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition.


Jardiwanpa (fire), Ngapa (water), Wardapi (Goanna), Warna ( snake), Wulyparrari (Milky Way), Yarriprir (Green Snake), Ngatijirri (Budgerigar), Napaltjarri-Warna (Seven Sisters), 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)


1996 – Gauguin Gallery, Singapore 1996 – Nangara Exhibition, Belgium 1995 – Malcolm Jagamarra, Brisbane, QLD 1994 – Wagner Art Gallery, Hong Kong 1993 – Mendelson Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA, USA 1993 – Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, ALD 1992 – Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney 1991 – Stuttgart Gallery, Stuttgart, Germany; Rebecca Hosack Gallery, London; Australian Aboriginal Art Gallery Vineyard, Germany; Barbara Gilman, Miami, Florida, USA; Malagra’s Gallery San Antonio, Texas, USA. 1991 – Bahti Indian Art Gallery, Tuscon, Arizona, USA 1991 – Throckmorton Gallery, Tuscon, Arizona, USA 1991 – Rosequist Gallery, Tuscon, Arizona, USA 1990 – Reichs Museum, The Netherlands


Australian Embassy, New York, USA Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW Berkeley Editions, Australia Professor Fishe Collection, Germany The Kelton Collection, Santa Monica, USA Corporate Designs: Kellogs Australia Hardy’s Wines, Australia Duty Free Shoppers, Sydney, Australia Telecom, Australia Responsible Drinking Campaign, Northern Territory Government, Australia Sandscapes, USA

Media Coverage

SBS Television, Australia Channel 9, Wonder World, Australia ABC 7:30 Report, Australia Qantas Inflight Television, USA Cable Network Television, USA NTD8 Television, NT, Australia The Bulletin (Newsweek), Australia Telegraph Mirror, Melbourne, Australia Antiques and Art Magazine, Australia The Age Newspaper, Melbourne, Australia Inside Melbourne, Sydney, Australia 2SER FM Sydney, Australia The Australian Newspaper Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, Australia Australian Koori Mail, Sydney, Australia Australian Way, Qantas Inflight Magazine The Age Newspaper, Special Edition, Melbourne, Australia

Book References

1988 – Unsung Heroes and Heroines of Australia, Baldwin,S (ed), Greenhouse Publications, Elwood, Victoria 1988 – A Myriad of Dreaming 1994 – Dictionary of Western Desert Artists, Vivian Johnson,Craftsman House, Roseville, NSW 1994 – Desert Dreamings, Ancient Icons 1994 – Nangara, The Australian Aboriginal Art Exhibition

Art Residences

1992 – Art Gallery of NSW; 1992 – Crystal Fahren Hoest Gallery, Hamelen, Germany 1993 – (October) – Mendelson Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA, USA; 1993 – Club Med, Queensland, Australia 1993 – Rebecca Hossack Gallery, London, UK 1994 (January) – Global Colours, Sydney, Australia 1995 (April) – Youth Theatre, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

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