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Jimmy Yanyatjari Donegan

Ninuku Arts

Jimmy was born at Yanpan, a rockhole near Ngatuntjarra Bore circa 1940. He grew up in the country surrounding Papulankutja (Blackstone) and Mantamaru (Jameson) in Western Australia. Jimmy has strong family links throughout the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands and his wife was originally from a place near Kalka.

Some time ago Jimmy took his wife and children to live at Papulankutja (Blackstone) because of his deep connection to that country. He is now widowed and has returned to Kalka community to live with his children, and to be closer to his sister, Molly Nampitjin Miller, who is a founding director of Ninuku Arts.

Jimmy is a skilled wood craftsman – his spears, spear throwers and boomerangs are prized and much sought after. He is also a strong cultural man, involved in traditional law and ceremony. In August 2010, Jimmy Donegan won the  National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award ( NATSIA- otherwise known as the Telstra Award). He was the winner of two sections – the General Painting category and the overall prize.

“Like much of Donegan’s work over the past decade, the award winning painting is solemn and emphatic in its design, but dazzlingly illuminated. The artist’s technique is to compose the colour lines of his canvases from thousands of large dots in different hues, which blend into a whole.” Nicolas Rothwell, The Weekend Australian, August 2010.