Malcolm Jagamarra was born in the Australian outback in 1954. He is the son of Minnie Napanangka, a Warlpiri woman and Gerry Maloney an Irish Bushman. As a child he traveled the land on walk about with his mother and families. They lived the traditional way, which is more than 40,000 years old.
At the time as part of the 'Aboriginal Assimilation Program', all part Aboriginal children were taken from their families and placed in white environments. Because of this Jagamarra's mother would hide him in the bush whenever they visited a white homestead.
At the age of six, Jagamarra was discovered by the authorities and taken to Adelaide where he spent the next eighteen years. He matriculated from Adelaide Boys High School in 1972 and starred in League Football for North Adelaide until 1975.
In 1978 he returned to Alice Springs and was reunited with his family for the first time since 1960. Jagamarra underwent the initiation ceremonies into manhood that he missed as a boy, in 1983. It was then that he learned the sacred songs and dances of his tribe, the Lander River Warlpiri.
Jagamarra's art evolves from his tribe's ceremonies. Aboriginal paintings were originally daubed on the ground and on bodies of the people and were not preserved. Since 1971 they have been transferred onto canvas. "It has given everyone a chance to learn about Aboriginal Dreaming," says Jagamarra. "Our art reflects not just the land but its mythology, song and dance." The symbols are called iconography and they are the oldest form of writing in the world.
Attracting extensive media coverage and biographical interest with his success, Malcolm has achieved star status as an Aboriginal artist appearing on numerous television programs and in a number of published books and articles. Some examples of these include appearances on SBS Television, the 7:30 Report ABC, Wonder World Channel 9, Cable Network Television, Qantas Inflight Video Magazine, and NTD Television. The following publications have featured stories on Malcolm: The Bulletin (Newsweek), Antiques and Art Magazine, Telegraph Mirror, The Age Newspaper, Inside Melbourne Australia, Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian, Koori Mail, in Australia and Window Magazine in Hong Kong.