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2005/215/1 Painting, 'Yanjirlpiri Jukurrpa (Star Dreaming)', acrylic / canvas, painted by Paddy Japaljarri Sims, Yuendumu, Northern Territory, Australia, 2004. Click to enlarge.
© Paddy Japaljarri Sims/Licensed by Viscopy, 2016. © Warlukurlangu Artists.

Painting ‘Yanjirlpiri Jukurrpa (Star Dreaming)’ by Paddy Japaljarri Sims

Made in Northern Territory, Australia, 2004.

This painting is a valuable addition to the MAAS Indigenous Australian collection, especially to material relating to the creation period of the Walpiri people who live in towns and settlements within their traditional homelands north and west of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory of Australia. The traditional language of the Warlpiri people is Warlpiri. Paddy Japaljarri Sims is a well respected artist and Elder of the Warlpiri community.

Yanjirlypiri, literally meaning a star, is the nam...


Object No.


Object Statement

Painting, 'Yanjirlpiri Jukurrpa (Star Dreaming)', acrylic / canvas, painted by Paddy Japaljarri Sims, Yuendumu, Northern Territory, Australia, 2004

Physical Description

This work is rectangular in shape and features witi (snake vine) which is represented by the long straight lines. The white circles underneath are the stars.



1220 mm


1070 mm



Produced by Paddy Japaljarri Sims (c1917-2010), a well respected artist and Elder of the Warlpiri community.

Paddy Japaljarri Sims is one of the artists who worked on the Yuendumu Doors. The catalyst for painted doors followed an invitation to male Warlpiri elders to paint Jukurrpa Dreaming stories on the doors of the shool as a way of sharing cultural knowledge with young Warlipi school children. The painted doors toured nationally in the 1990s. In 2000 Paddy Japaljarri Stewart produced 30 etchings of the original Yuendumu Doors in collaboration with Paddy Japaljarri Sims under the guidance of Basil Hall, Northern Editions Printmaker (Northern Territory University). The first print debuted alongside the Yuendumu Doors when they were exhibited in Alice Springs. The etchings set was launched in 2001 and won the Telstra 16th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award for works on paper.

The Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation, an Aboriginal owned and governed art centre where many of the Warlpiri artists work, was established at Yuendumu in 1985 and named after the main local Dreaming story portrayed by early women painters working with anthropologists.

Paddy Japaljarri Sims gained international recognition from the late 1980s. He travelled with four other artists (including Paddy Japaljarri Stewart) to create a large collaborative painting at the Pompidou Centre in Paris in 1989. His personal story was recorded for the documentary ?Singing the Milky Way', first shown alongside the Yuendumu Doors at The Museum of Aboriginal Art in Utrecht.

Paddy Japaljarri Sims was the senior custodian of the Milky Way or Night Sky Dreaming stories, a theme that is featured in many of his works. Japaljarri's Jukurrpa stories or Dreamings include Yiwarra (Milky Way), Ngarlkirdi/Warna (witchety grub/snake), Warlu Kukurrpa (fire), and Yanjirlpirri (star). His daughter Alma Nungurrayi Granites (b.1955) continues to maintain and preserve this tradition, painting detailed depictions of the Seven Sisters Dreaming and Milky Way Dreaming. Alma Nungurrayi Granite's mother, Bessie Nakamarra Sims (c.1932), was another of the founding artists of Warlukurlangu.

Paddy Japaljarri Sims.
'Desert Art comes to Yuendumu'





This painting was exhibited in the 'Spirit: between the earth and the stars' section of the 'Our place: Indigenous Australia now' exhibition held in Beijing, China at the National Museum of China in 2005.


Credit Line

Purchased 2005

Acquisition Date

25 October 2005

Cite this Object


Painting 'Yanjirlpiri Jukurrpa (Star Dreaming)' by Paddy Japaljarri Sims 2018, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 23 February 2019, <>


{{cite web |url= |title=Painting 'Yanjirlpiri Jukurrpa (Star Dreaming)' by Paddy Japaljarri Sims |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=23 February 2019 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}
This object is currently on display in Icons: From the MAAS Collection at the Powerhouse Museum.

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