Desert man wins indigenous art award

Aboriginal Art Directory | 17.08.10

Seventy-year-old Jimmy Donegan had never seen the ocean before travelling to Darwin to accept Australia's most prestigious indigenous art prize.

For a man who has enjoyed painting almost every day of his life, it was a week of many extraordinary firsts.

Mr Donegan had never entered an art competition before winning two awards at the 27th Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Art Award on Friday.

Mr Donegan won the $4,000 general painting award, as well as the first prize $40,000 Telstra art award for his work titled Papa Tjukurpa, Pukara.

Mr Donegan, with the assistance of a translator, told reporters the bright, vibrant, synthetic-polymer paint work on canvas tells two "special" ancestral stories relating to his father and grandfather's country in Western Australia.

Papa Tjukurpa, or Dingo Dreaming, shows his father's rock hole called Dulu, where there are lots of dingoes.

Pukara is a water snake dreaming story about a sacred men's site in WA, south of Wingellina.

It also tells the creation story of the honey grevillea.

Mr Donegan said he was "very happy" to be receiving the award for his painting, which took about four weeks to complete at the art centre in the South Australian Pitjantjatjara community of Kalka, where he now lives with his four children.


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Contact Details

Gallery: Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award
Address: Conacher Street Bullocky Point Darwin NT

Gallery: Ninuku Arts
Contact: Bronwyn Taylor
Telephone: +61 8 8954 8054
Address: Kalka Community Kalka Kalka SA



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