Walter Jugadai

Walter Jugadai

Language:LuritjaDate of birth:1983-02-02Community:Haasts BluffArtwork themes:Landscapes, Star & Shield People Tjukurrpa

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Walter Jugadai was born in Alice Springs in 1983. His mother, Judith Nelson, and father Nebo Jugadai were both from Haasts Bluff. Walter went to school in Papunya and Haasts Bluff. It was at Papunya school that he first began drawing with pencil on paper. Walter grew up watching the old men painting at Haasts Bluff, even before there was an art centre. He fondly remembers helping them, getting water for them and learning from them.

Walter learnt to paint from members of the Namatjira family. Albert Namatjira;s watercolour paintings continue to inspire Walter today. Amongst those who taught Walter to paint were Kevin Morris and Skipper Raggett. After finishing school in Papunya, Walter went to college at Yirarra in Alice Springs. He then returned to Haasts Bluff where he worked in the old station house.

Walter first started painting on canvas in 2004 at Ikuntji Artists. Over the years, Walter has proven to be a dynamic artist, ranging from vivid landscape scenes to painting the Tjukurrpa (Dreaming) passed down to him from his family. Both of Walter’s sisters, Evelyn and Maisie, also paint at Ikuntji Artists.

In 2012 Walter Travelled to Melbourne for the Melbourne Art Fair to exhibit his work. In 2014, he went to Korea on an artist-in-residency as part of the Nomadic Artists Exchange.

Walter currently works for the Men’s Tjilirra Movement, which was initiated at Haasts Bluff and supported from the beginning by Ikuntji Artists through selling all tools at the art centre. As part of the job he travels across the Western Desert making Tjilirra (traditional handmade tools including boomerangs, shields, spears and carrying vessels) with local men as part of a suicide prevention program. Walter says that while he is travelling for work he gets to see many beautiful landscapes, and especially sunsets. Despite being so busy, Walter still finds time to paint those impressive landscapes. He also sometimes paints the star and shield Tjukurrpa (Dreaming) that was passed down to him from his grandfather. 


  • Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet Art Collection, Canberra, ACT

Past Exhibitions

  • 2019 AIATSIS Indigenous Art Market 2019-12-06
  • Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair 2019 2019-08-09
  • National Indigenous Art Fair, Overseas Passenger Terminal, The Rocks, Sydney NSW 2019-06-28
  • Desert Mob Market Place 2018 2018-09-06
  • Emerging Contemporaries 2017-01-01
  • Jewellery Has Always Been Here, TARNANTHI, 2016-10-01
  • The Indigenous Jewellery Project Launch Exhibition, 2016-01-01
  • Sculpture for the Body 2016-01-01
  • Tarnanthi Festival Art Fair, Tandanya Institute. Adelaide SA 2015-10-08
  • Art Parade 2015, Artitja Fine Art, Mosman Park, WA 2015-03-05
  • Around the Campfire - Fundraiser Concert, Alice Springs NT 2014-10-16
  • 8th Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair, Darwin Convention Centre, Darwin NT 2014-08-06
  • A Love of Country - the Indigenous Perspective, A Seymour College Art Exhibition, Adelaide SA 2013-08-15
  • 7th Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair, Darwin Convention Centre, Darwin NT 2013-08-07
  • Talapi Gallery, Alice Springs NT 2011-12-31
  • Desert Mob Exhibition, Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs NT 2010-12-31
  • Euan Hills Art Mob, Tasmania 2010-12-31
  • Hogarth Gallery, Sydney NSW 2009-12-31
  • New Paintings from the Desert, Centred Art, Brisbane QLD 2008-12-31
  • Desert Mob Exhibition, Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs NT 2008-12-31
  • Ballan and Pannan Galleries, Alice Springs NT 2008-12-31
  • Palya Art, Cabinet Malemont, Paris, France 2008-12-31
  • Palya Art, Gallows Gallery, Perth WA 2008-12-31
  • Ikuntji Icons, ArtMob, Hobart TAS 2008-12-31
  • Mixed Show, Palya Art @ Mary Place, Sydney NSW 2008-12-31
  • Big Mob Small Ones, Peta Appleyard Gallery, Alice Springs NT 2007-12-31