Skip to content


Uta Uta Tjangala

(Australia circa 1926 – 14 Dec 1990)

Language group
Pintupi, Western Desert region
Untitled (Jupiter Well to Tjukula)
Place of origin
PapunyaNorthern TerritoryAustralia
Media category
Materials used
synthetic polymer paint on linen canvas

230.0 x 380.0 cm stretcher

Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Purchased with funds provided by the Art Gallery Society of New South Wales 2004
Accession number
© Estate of Uta Uta Tjangala. Licensed by Aboriginal Artists Agency, Sydney
20th & 21st c Australian art
Further information

Uta Uta Tjangala was a gardener at Papunya when he became one of the original group of artists who began painting in 1971. Tjangala is regarded as one of the Pintupi 'masters' who began with small-scale paintings on board, and moved on to painting canvases on a vast scale, as in 'Untitled (Jupiter Well to Tjukula)' 1979. It is an indication of his seniority and ability as an artist that Tjangala was commissioned to create a work of this size so early in the history of Papunya Tula painting. Based on the Tingari cycles of ceremonies, the work depicts ancestral activities over a vast area of the Western Desert and may be seen as a longing for home at a time when Tjangala and many other Pintupi leaders were advocating for the establishment of homelands in their traditional country. This dream was realised with the establishment of Walungurru (Kintore) in 1981 and Kiwirrkura in 1983, which service numerous outstations throughout Pintupi country.

Bibliography (5)

Craig Bush, Look, 'Years of enrichment: The society reaches another milestone', pg. 12-15, Newtown, May 2009, 15 (colour illus.).

John Kean, Colliding worlds: first contact in the Western Desert 1932-1984, 'A big canvas: mobilising Pintupi painting', pg. 46-52, Melbourne, 2006, 45 (colour illus.), 46, 51, 56.

Hetti Perkins, Art + soul: a journey into the world of Aboriginal art, 'Home + away', pg. 1-86, Carlton, 2010, 18-19 (colour illus.), 20, 278.

Wayne Tunnicliffe and Deborah Edwards, Look, ‘New Australia’, pg. 24-27, Newtown, May 2012, 26.

Stephen Weeks, Greg Hilty and Thomas Hauffe (Editors), Aratjara: art of the first Australians, Dusseldorf, 1993, 259 (colour illus.), 347. 105

Exhibition history (2)

Aratjara: art of the first Australians:

Colliding worlds: First contact in the Western Desert 1930-1984: