Jeffrey is the son of Molly Napaltjarri Jugadai, a Warlpiri/Pintupi woman from Lake Macdonald and former painter at Ikuntji Artists, and the grandson of Narputta Nangala Jugadai. His father, Smithy Zimran, is the brother of renowned artist Ronnie Tjampitjinpa, and both are Pintupi men from Yumari/Pinari, located west of Kintore in the Gibson Desert.
Jeffrey was born in 1976 in the old Alice Springs Hospital. He is the second oldest of five siblings, and his sister Keturah and brother Joseph both also paint at Ikuntji Artists. His other sister Kaye, works in Alice Springs as an interpreter with Aboriginal Interpreters Service and his youngest sister, Elsie, lives in Haasts Bluff.
Jeffrey grew up at Kintore and Haasts Bluff, travelling between the two places and attending primary school at both. He went on to attend boarding school at Yirara College in Alice Springs from 1988-1991. In his early 20’s he lived in Kintore where he went through initiations and spent time with his family. Whilst in Kintore, he watched his uncle, Ronnie Tjampitjinpa paint, an important artist at Papunya Tula. Ronnie was initiated in to Pintupi law at the site of Yumari.
He and his younger brother Smithy Zimran Tjampitjinpa then walked to the Aboriginal community of Yuendumu before later joining their parents and other siblings – who had come in to Ikuntji (Haasts Bluff) in 1956 from the Dover Hills/Yumari area – at the new settlement of Papunya.
Jeffrey remembers when his uncle, Ronnie would take canvas home and he would sit with him as he painted, watching his techniques. Jeffrey himself, began painting in late 2008 with Ikuntji Artists and Papunya Tula. He paints the Waru Tjukurrpa (bush fire dreaming), which was passed down to him from his father, Smithy Tjampitjinpa Zimran. He also paints Tali (sandhills) and has recently started to paint Tjilpi Kutju Tjukurrpa (one old man). This is the Tjukurrpa of his father and grandfather. His grandfathers, Uta Uta Tjangala and Minpuru Tjangala, who also painted this, passed this Tjukurrpa onto him.
Jeffrey now lives in Haasts Bluff with his family and paints in his spare time.
- Australian Council of the Arts, Artists trip to Adeialde. Ended
- Screen printing workshop at Ikuntji Artists Ended
- Blak Markets at Barrangaroo, Sydney NSW 2017-07-02
- Ancestral Presence - recent works by Ikuntji Artists, June Marriott Gallery, Central Craft, Araluen Cultural Precinct 2015-08-28
- Palya Art @ Mary Place, Sydney, "Mixed Show" 2009-01-01
- Palya Art @ Cabinet Malemont, Paris, France 2009-01-01
- Palya Art @ Gallows Gallery, Perth, WA 2009-01-01