Donny Woolagoodja was born in 1947 at Kunmuya Mission in the far north-west of the Kimberley. While he was still a child, the community relocated to Mowanjum, just out of Derby, and well south of Worrorra homelands. As a teenager he watched the older generation carving boab nuts and painting on bark and boards and in this way he learned the ‘stories’ of the Wanjina and Lalai. After his father Sam passed away in 1979, Donny took on his responsibilities for the land and for passing on traditions of his culture. When Donny began painting the Wanjinas on paper he quickly became one of the Mowanjum’s most successful contemporary artists. People worldwide saw the giant Wanjina he designed for the opening ceremony of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.
Kimberley Art Award (Winner 2004)
Western Australia State Images Art Award (Winner 2000)