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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art

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Untitled (Landscape)

circa 1969


Sandy Jurra Japaljarri


1944 -

Language group

Warlpiri, Central Desert region


This painting by Sandy Jurra, titled 'Untitled (Landscape)' c.1969, is an example of painting from Lajamanu (Hooker Creek) before the western desert painting movement influenced the artists from this community. At the time there were very few if any models of the so-called 'traditional' or 'dot and circle' style of painting that was shortly to emerge from Papunya in the early 1970s. Prior to this significant event the most famous Aboriginal artist was Albert Namatjira who painted with watercolour in a representational style.

Thus Sandy Jurra, painting in the late 1960s, seems to have been influenced in many ways by the watercolours of Namatjira. Using enamel house paints on masonite board, which were probably the only painting materials available at Lajamanu at the time, Jurra has expediently rendered images of the desert landscape. This painting is direct and possesses a naive quality that perfectly captures the sense of space inherent in the Tanami Desert landscape.

In 1985 men from Lajamanu began to paint for the art market, influenced by the spread of the western desert art movement across the country. Lajamanu women began to paint in 1986. Subsequently, Lajamanu has become an important painting community.

© Australian Art Department, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2003


Place where the work was made

Lajamanu Tanami Desert Northern Territory Australia


circa 1969

Media category


Materials used

synthetic polymer paint on hardboard


90.7 x 36.0 cm

Signature & date

Signed l.l. corner, "Sandy Jurra, Hooker Creek, NT". Not dated.


Gift of Betty Grant OAM 2003


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Sandy Jurra Japaljarri

Works in the collection