Witchery and Rainbow Serpent

Michael Jagamara Nelson

Medium: Acrylic on Canvas 
Dimensions: 91 x 61 cms 
Condition: Good

CHG Director's Statement: Michael Jagamara (also spelt Jagamarra or Tjakamarra) Nelson was born in 1949 at Pikilyi (Vaughan Springs) west of Yuendemu, in Central Australia. He is a Warlpiri and Luritja speaker. 

Michael began painting many years ago in Papunya, Central Australia, in the classic dot and circle tradition of desert sand painting. Much of his work centers on the country in the Mt Singleton area and tells of traditional Dreaming Stories. 

He is one of the most widely collected and prominent Aboriginal artists. His work is as diverse as the mosaic at Parliament House, Canberra to the brightly coloured sports car he painted for BMW. As well as working with the Papunya community arts centre, Michael has collaborated with the Campfire Group in Brisbane and with other artists.

He has been recognized both nationally and internationally, from the late 1980s through numerous public art commissions and awards including the 1984 Telstra National Aboriginal Art Award.

During the late 1990s, he reinvented his approach to painting with a more expressionistic style. He continues to make the salient point that although his choice of colours, materials and appearance of works are continually being reformatted, his stories have never changed. Michael Jagamara Nelson’s significant contribution to Aboriginal Art has been recognized many times: In 2008, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of New South Wales. And since September 2016, he became the most expensive aboriginal artist alive, with a record sale of $690,000 for his painting “Five Stories” at Sotheby’s London.

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