Jimmy Donegan_Papa Tjukurpa munu Pukara_NGV Collection_WEB.jpg

Papa Tjukurpa munu Pukara

synthetic polymer paint on canvas
177.7 x 200.1 cm
National Gallery of Victoria
Felton Bequest, 2011
© The artist and Ninuku Arts

In 2010 Jimmy was awarded the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award in 2010 for this work, Papa Tjukurpa munu Pukara. It tells two stories, the Papa Tjukurpa (Dingo Dreaming) and of Pukara, Jimmy’s grandfather’s country in Western Australia:

Ngayu mamaku ngura Dulu (my father’s country rockhole is called Dulu). At this place there are lots of dingoes living there, digging up the water and hunting at Pilantjara rockhole in the country area of Dulu. This is Papa Walka, dog design.

Pukara is [my] grandfather’s country. It is a story about a sacred men’s site in Western Australia, south of Wingellina. It is a Watersnake Dreaming story. This is where the watersnake fell down and his elbow makes an indent in the landscape. This is the creation story for the Honey Grevillea. Birds are really scared of this water at Pukara. It is like a ‘big boss,’ this water.


Jimmy Donegan

Born: c.1940 Yanpan WA
Pitjantjatjara, Ngaanyatjarra language groups

Art Centre: Ninuku Arts, Kalka SA

Jimmy Donegan was born at Yanpan, a rockhole near Ngatuntjarra Bore. He grew up as a bush baby in country around Blackstone and Mantamaru (Jamieson) in Western Australia. Jimmy has family links throughout the APY lands and his wife was from a place near Kalka. Jimmy took his wife and children to live at Blackstone because of his tie to that country. He is now widowed and has returned to Kalka Community to live with his children, and close to his sister Molly Nampitjin Miller.

Jimmy is a strong man for law and culture. Aside from painting with Ninuku Arts he is a craftsman and known for this spears, spear throwers and boomerangs.