• Artwork:Purangu
  • Artist:Jimmy Pike
Aboriginal Designed Scarf

Purangu by Jimmy Pike

Jimmy Pike's paintings project a unique vision and add a new dimension to our understanding of place and identiy.  His depiction of the physical and spiritual quality of this traditional Walmajarn country have added a new dynamism in Australian Aboriginal Art.  Purangu translates to sun.

  • Artist:Jimmy Pike
  • Title:Purangu
  • ID:JP003
  • Medium:Print on Silk
  • Size:110 x 146 cm
  • Region:Western Australia


Jimmy Pike was born in approximately 1940 and is from the Great Sandy Desert area of Western Australia. During his childhood he lived a traditional lifestyle with his family who travelled the vast Desert visiting waterholes and hunting for food. Jimmy is a member of the Walmajarri people, who were one of the last groups to leave the desert and settle on cattle stations and reserves in the Kimberley during the 1950’s.

As he grew older he worked as a stockman and in his spare time crafted cravings which he would sell to tourists in Fitzroy Crossing. He began working as an artist in the 1980’s whilst serving a prison sentence; he was introduced to western style painting and discovered his talent for art depiction, colour schemes and storytelling. He would work in printmaking and would produce linocuts. His first attempt at this, whilst in prison was later acquired by the National Gallery of Victoria.

On six occasions Jimmy’s artwork was included in Australia’s most prestigious art prize, the Telstra Award. In 1987, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, and 1999 he had his artworks was featured in the 4th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 13th and 16th annual National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award Exhibition, as a selected entrant. It is any wonder that he did not win, but in the earlier art awards there was only one category, for if there had been more it is very likely that he would have won.

His work was characterized by the use of bold abstract shapes with contracting rich earth colours. His paintings offer a physical and spiritual quality and share the traditions of Walmajarri country. His depictions of the desert landscape share the importance of his spirituality and beliefs. His artworks are extremely collectable and he is rated in the Top 200 Aboriginal artists of all time by The Australian Indigenous Art Market.

He later met his wife and partner, Pat Lowe, a non-Indigenous writer and together they lived in his desert homeland, an isolated outstation Kuriku, in Western Australia. They worked on a number of books together, where Jimmy worked on the illustrations, whilst Pat would do the writing.

Sadly, Jimmy passed away in 2002 due to a heart attack, at 62. His first exhibition was held in Perth in 1984 and although he has passed on, his works are still featured today. Over this career, he held 14 solo exhibitions and was involved in countless others. These exhibitions include galleries from around Australia as well as overseas such as Asia, the UK, Germany, . His artwork is also held in many prominent and well respected collections around Australia.

Central Art would like to acknowledge that in traditional Aboriginal culture, once a person as passed on their name is no longer spoken. We have also removed photographs of Jimmy Pike in keeping with Aboriginal culture. Naming Aboriginal people who have passed away was traditionallty forbidden. You are required to avoid referring to the deceased directly by name as a sign of respect. This has also come to include photographs, filming and voice recordings as technology has grown. Central Art acknowledges that we have named Jimmy on our website however it is linguistically difficulty to promote his works without naming him.

Whilst Central Art does not feature any of Jimmy’s original artworks, we wish to celebrate his talent by providing art lovers the opportunity to own some of his designs in the form of silk scarfs which have several of his designs.

View more artworks by this artist

Artist has Passed Away

1940 - 2002

Out of respect for Aboriginal culture Central Art has removed the artist's photograph.

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Why Sabine likes this

Central Art feels extremly privelged to showcase online and in exclusive gallery in Alice Springs "The Jimmy Pike collection".  I love scarves , the designs are amazing. This would make a beauitful gift.

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