Daisy Japulija, Sonia Kurarra, Tjigila Nada Rawlins & Ms Uhl (WA)


There are 11 artworks from the Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency: 

  • Daisy Japulija - Billabongs (2018), Billabongs (2018), Billabongs (2018), Billabongs (2018)
  • Daisy Japulija, Sonia Kurarra - Martuwarra Jaar Pirra (2018)
  • Sonia Kurarra - Martuwarra (2018), Martuwarra (2018), Martuwarra (2018)
  • Tjigila Nada Rawlins - Yimirri (2017)
  • Ms Uhl - Kurrkapi (2018), Kurrkapi (2017)

The paintings of the Mangkaja group artists show places of home. They are a way for the artists to connect themselves with Country as they paint in the Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency. Mangkaja is a Walmajarri word for wet weather shelters erected by the Walmajarri people in the Great Sandy Desert. Although the artists have been painting their places and motifs for some time, this time they experimented by painting on Perspex instead of on canvas.

Inquiry questions

  • Take your time to look at the paintings. Which colours, shapes and lines do you see? 
  • What kind of landscapes do the works suggest? 
  • Choose a line or a shape from one of the artworks. Trace the line or shape with one finger in the air to get feeling of the place. How do you think the artists feel about the places they have painted and why?
  • The artists painted on Perspex. Where have you seen Perspex used before?

Creative learning activity 

You will need

  • Writing materials
  • Paint
  • Paper or canvas to paint on
  • Paintbrushes and water


  1. Think of a place you have been that you love, or where you feel like you belong or feel safe. This might be your home, somewhere you visit daily routine or somewhere you have only been to once or twice.
  2. Picture what this place looks like. Write down one word that describes the colours of this place and one word that describes the textures in this place.
  3. Using your two words as a guide, paint a base layer on your painting surface that covers the whole page. For example, if your words were ‘blue and ‘wavy’, you might paint your whole surface in wavy strokes of blues and greens.
  4. Write down two shapes that you can see in this place. They may be realistic (such as leaves) or more abstract (such as geometric shapes).
  5. Paint these over your first layer and think about scale and repetition.
  6. Finally, write down 3 words that describe how you feel in this place.
  7. Think of a brushstroke which could match each of your three ‘feeling’ words. For example, a calm feeling might be represented by a thick, pale blue line. A joyous feeling might be represented by many small yellow circles.
  8. Paint these brushstrokes onto your painting. Consider how they will work with your first two layers.
  9. Write a descriptive paragraph about this place, or a memory of being in this place to accompany your painting.
  10. Form pairs. Share your stories with each other. Compare how you depicted your places.



  1. Try creating your painting on transparent materials, such as plastic sleeves or Perspex. You could then experiment with installation – such as hanging the work in front of a light source or window, from the ceiling, or even layering on top of one another.
  2. How did it feel to work on a transparent material compared to an opaque one?


  • What did you choose to reveal or hide as you were adding layers?
  • Do you think your final painting is a good representation of your chosen place? Why or why not?