Darby Jampijinpa Ross



Darby Jampijinpa Ross was born in the bush at Ngarliyikirlangu about 1910, before whitefellas were prevalent in central Australia. He grew up a traditional nomad, hunting with his family. He survived the Conniston massacre and traveled widely as a stockman. He was a much respected Warlpiri elder, a founding member of Warlukurlangu artists and, before his death in 2005, he was thought to be the oldest Warlpiri man alive. His country lay to the north of Yuendumu and his totems were emu and bandicoot but he also painted Ngapa (water), Pamapardu (flying ant) and Wardilyka (bush turkey). In 1993 he also managed a huge Jardiwanpa canvas commissioned for the inclusion in the traveling exhibition Aratjara: Art of the First Australian, Kunstasammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Dusseldorf, Germany. Darby begun to paint with Warlukurlangu Artists in 1985 and regularly exhibited with them until he stopped painting in 2000. His canvas’s were significant for their bold gestural qualities and their intense vibrant colours. His work was included in major exhibitions including Dreamings: The Art of Aboriginal Australia, The Asia Society Galleries, New York, 1989;  Mythscapes: Aboriginal Art of the Desert, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 1989.