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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art

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Untitled (Jupiter Well to Tjukula)



Uta Uta Tjangala


circa 1926 - 14 Dec 1990

Language group

Pintupi, Western Desert region


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.


Place where the work was made

Docker River Northern Territory Australia



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


Artist information

Uta Uta Tjangala

Artist profile

Works in the collection


Shown in 2 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 5 publications


Craig Bush, Look, 'Years of enrichment: The society reaches another milestone', pg. 12-15, Sydney, 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, Sydney, May 2012, 26.

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