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Long Jack Phillipus Jakamarra

Long Jack Phillipus Jakamarra

Born c. 1932 at Kalimpinpa an important rain dreaming site north east of Kintore. His father who was Walpiri came from Parikurlangu to the north of Kalimpinpa and his mother who was Walpiri/Luritja came from Kalimpinpa. Long Jack grew up in the bush west of Mt Farewell and came to Haasts Bluff as a timber contractor and stockman and married Georgette Napaltjarri and they have two sons, three daughters and a number of grandchildren. He lives in Papunya and is close to his kinship brother Michael Nelson Jakamarra.

Long Jack (so called because he is quite tall - about 1.88m) has been part of the art movement since the beginning of the 1970's when he was a yardman and Councillor at Papunya . Long Jack and Billy Stockman Japaltjarri both offered their services in painting a number the smaller murals around Papunya school before the painting of the large Honey Ant Mural. The painting of the Honey Ant Mural is recognised as the beginning of the Western Desert Painting Movement.

Many of the old Aboriginal men from the Walpiri and Anmatyerre tribes (Long Jack included) were educated by the Lutheran mission and they believe devoutly in both their traditional dreamtime as well as in the Lutheran teachings. In 1984 Long Jack was ordained as a Lutheran pastor and he performs services most Sundays for his people in Papunya.

His paintings depict Hare, Wallaby, Kingfisher, Dingo, Possum, Storm and other dreamings in the Mt Singleton area. Long Jack has a unique style of painting and uses combinations of colours, and dots on top of dots, that gives a striking effect when viewed from a distance.

Long Jack took the Northern Territory Golden Jubilee Art Award in 1983 and the Alice Springs Art Prize in 1984. His work is displayed in a number of collections including Robert Holmes a Court Collection in Perth, National Gallery of Victoria, Art Gallery or Western Australia, Art Gallery of South Australia, Art Gallery of New South Wales, University of Western Australia Anthropology Museum, The Museum and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory, Victorian Arts Centre, Wellington Museum in New Zealand, Woolongong City Gallery, National Gallery of Australia and Groninger Museum in the Netherlands.

Here are some examples of the work by Long Jack Phillipus Jakamarra.

This biography was compiled in part from Aboriginal Artists of the Western Desert - A Biographical Dictionary, by Vivien Johnson. Further information on Long Jack can be found in Geoffrey Bardon's Book, Papunya Tula - Art of the Western Desert.