Jakayu Biljabu | Artist Profile

Details of Jakayu Biljabu


Jakayu was born a little way north of Pitu around 1937 and grew up around Pitu, Wikirri, Rarrki, Wantili and Nyinyari on the Canning Stock Route. Drovers would kill a bullock and give food to Jayaku's group. Jakayu and her sister married the same man (Jakayu's sister was the first wife.) Jakayu has two sons who were born in the bush, and one daughter born in the mission. Her father was very wary of the Europeans who increasingly travelled along the Canning Stock Route building new roads and her family waited longer than most before leaving a traditional life. Jakayu was travelling with her three children and a group of people in 1963 when they were contacted by Len Beadell, who had made the roads for the Woomera rocket range. Some people in the group Jakayu was travelling with had been to Jigalong previously, and Len told the Jigalong mission staff that they all wanted to come into the mission.

Jakayu worked as a baker at the mission and several stations before moving to Strelley station for a time. In 1982 she moved to Punmu community. jakayu has painted primarily in Punmu community, where she continued to live surrounded buy her children adn grandchildren, teaching her grand daughters about their history and country.

Painting- acrylic on canvas
Basket weaving


2012 - Warla, Short St Gallery, Broome, WA
2011 - Desert Mob, Araluen Centre, Alice Springs
2011 - Revealed- Emerging Aboriginal Artists from Western Australia, Gallery Central, Perth
2011 - Yiwarra Kuju- One Road, One People, Perth Convention Exhibition Centre, Perth
2011 - Yiwarra Kuju- One Road, One People, Australian Museum, Sydney
2011 - Martumili Artists, Outback Fusion Festival, Newman
2011 - Living Water - Contemporary Art of the Far Western Desert, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
2011 - Waru! Holding Fire in Australia;s Western Desert, Thomas Welton Stanford Art Gallery, Stanford Univeristy, San Francisco
2010 - Jakulpa laju kartyinpa (Bringing a Message), Chapman Gallery, Canberra
2010 - Shalom Gamarada Ngiyani Yana (We walk together as friends), Waterhole Art, Sydney
2010 - Yiwarra Kuju- One Road, One People, National Museum of Australia, Canberra
2010 - Warla Tjartrjal - Edge of the Lake, Short St. Gallery, Broome
2010 - Before and After Science, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide Biennial 2010
2010 - Martumili Group Exhibition, AP Bond gallery, Adelaide
2009 - Yankuni Laju Karnkani Kukungka (We Are Travelling Together By Air), ReDot Gallery, Singapore
2009 - Puntu Kurnu (Belongs to the People), Newman Visitors Centre, Newman
2009 - Nintijunu (Teaching), Aboriginal and Pacific Art Gallery, Sydney
2009 - Warranpalampaju Kayili Yaninpa (Our Country Travelling North), RAFT Artspace, Darwin
2008 - Ngurra Waltja Wakarni (We Are Painting Country), Short St Gallery, Broome
2008 - Jitirangu (Rainbow), Randell Lane Art Gallery, Perth
2008 - Martumili Artists Recent Works, William Mora Galleries, Melbourne
2008 - Martumili Artists, Port Hedland Courthouse Art Centre and Gallery, Port Hedland
2008 - Laltu Tujuparaku, Yulpalpa Yirnaparaku (Lots of Women, Little Bit Men), Aboriginal and Pacific Art Gallery, Sydney
2007 - Martu-la Wakarnu Kuwarri Wiyaju, William Mora Galleries, Melbourne
2006 - Parnngurr Artists, Stanford University, California

2009 - Best work by a Pilbara-based Artist, Port Hedland Art Award
2011 - Finalist, Hedland Art Award, Courthouse Gallery, Port Hedland

National Museum of Australia
National Gallery of Victoria

Artworks of Jakayu Biljabu