Born c. 1925 far to the west of Papunya, Uta Uta was part of the original group of painters at Papunya in 1971. At the time, Uta Uta was a gardener in the Papunya School. His friendship with Geoff Bardon, who supplied the men with brushes, paint and board, sparked off the involvement of a dozen other Pintupi men at the very beginning of the painting enterprise at Papunya. Uta Uta emerged in the late ’70s and early ’80s as a master painter on a grand scale. His 1981 painting of the site of Yumari , which has been exhibited in the XVII Bienal de Sao Paulo 1983 and North America in the Dreamings exhibition of 1988-9, was assisted by a team of eleven other artists including Anatjari Tjampitjinpa, Dini Campbell, John Tjakamarra, Kanya Tjapangati, Charlie Tjapangati and Yala Yala Gibson. In 1985 he won the National Aboriginal Art Award. Many of the stories he painted are based on the Tingari cycle – also sites associated with Yumari, and Old Man, Emu and Carpet Snake Dreamings. Like most of the Pintupi living in Papunya, he returned to his homelands in the early ’80s when Kintore was established and settled on his outstation at Muyinnga, west of Kintore. His son Shorty Jackson Tjampitjinpa, who lived in Kintore, also began painting in the late 1980s, depicting the sites around Lake MacDonald where he walked around with his father as a boy.

Johnson, Vivien
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