Born about 1948, died 2008
Manyjilyjarra language group, Panaka skin group
I got pick up during droving day back in 1959. I got pick up at Well 25. I went on a camel all the way down to Bililuna and I grow up in that place. I was only 13 when they pick me up.
Jeffery James was born at Lake Disappointment. He walked to Billiluna Station at about 11 years of age and worked there as a stockman until he was about 17. He travelled widely as a drover in the Pilbara, Kimberley and Central Australia before returning to Jigalong. In 1983, he moved back to his country and established Kunawarritji community. The Kunawarritji Boss, as he was known, passed away in 2008.
Kunawarratji to Wajaparni
2007, by Patrick Tjungurrayi, Charlie Wallabi, Richard Yukenbarri, Jeffrey James, Peter Tinker, Helicopter Tjungurrayi, Clifford Brooks, Tom Lawford
acrylic on linen, 125 x 301 cm
National Museum of Australia
This collaborative men’s painting was produced by male artists from five art centres. It illuminates the nature of the family relationships, which are grounded in Country.
This was where our people got together as one, along these wells. Our grandfathers too. They was all as one people, don’t matter [that they they’re from] different tribes. They came here, stay for a while, and then go back home.
Patrick Olodoodi (Alatuti) Tjungurrayi, 2007
Working under the guidance of the senior men, Jeffrey James and Patrick Tjungurrayi, each artist painted that part of Country with which he has close family ties.
All these waters, from that line to this line, are all our family trees. Where our mob used to go from one waterhole to another, all as one people. This is our family tree, this painting.
Jeffrey James, 2007