Scarf - Pukara by Jimmy Donegan

One of Twelve is an Australian organisation working with art centres from across the Asia-Pacific to produce beautiful, wearable art in the form of vibrant, 100% silk scarves.

Jimmy Donegan, Pukara © the artist
110cm x 110cm
100% Silk satin with hand rolled edges
All scarves include an artist's card, detailing the artist's work and practise 



Pukara is named after a waterhole south west of Irrunytju in Western Australia. Within the vicinity of this sacred men’s site, many Dreaming stories come together. This is reflected in the complex design of the work, which references the lay of the land, the seasonal abundance of vegetation, and the interactions of ancestral figures. The waterhole itself holds stories once belonging to Jimmy Donegan’s paternal grandfather.

The subject of Pukara concerns the kaliny-kalinypa or honey grevillea plants, whose nectar is a type of bush lolly. In the Tjukurpa (Dreaming story), a father and son water snake (Wati Kutjara Wanampi) are living at Pukara and tire of people accessing the site for its honey-infused water. They tell the people to leave, before traveling themselves. On returning to the site, female flies (Minyma Punpunpa) are buzzing around the honey, prompting the two snakes to collect the honey. While doing so, a black ant (Wati Mutata) spears the son in his side, causing yellow and orange seeds to scatter around the site, sowing the land with the variety of honey grevillea plants that now prosper there.

Stylistically, Donegan’s work traces back to the legacy of the early Western desert art movement. Yet the free-flowing composition with its sharp, meandering lines and clusters of vibrant colour show an artist confident in his evolving style. In its boldness and colour, Pukara hints at the honey grevillea and its sweet nectar.


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