As I noted here yesterday, you would have had to kill me if I’d released the name of the winner of the $40,000 Telstra Art Award, the big bucks prize in the annual National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards (NATSIAA).

Mercifully the embargo that was put in place at 9 am yesterday morning lifted at midday today so I can reveal what was most likely the worst kept secret in Darwin, which right now is chock-a-block with artists and arts connoisseurs from across the country and beyond.

We’ll all be back down on the lawns of the NT Museum and Art Gallery at Bullocky Point later this evening for the official presentations. And if you cannot get down to Bullocky Point tonight you can “ if you are passing through north Queensland in the next few weeks “ catch up with more of Mr Donegan’s works at the Short Street Gallery in Cairns, where his work is part of a group show curated by the Ninuku Arts Centre.

Mr Jimmy Donegan works with the Ninuku Arts Centre based at the Kalka community in south Australia but the country for which he paints is not delineated by the straight lines that mark the state and territory border in the tri-state area, as this administrative juncture of states and the Northern Territory is rather confusingly known in a western administrative sense.

Mr Donegan’s painting, Papa Tjukurpa and Pukara, tells two stories, the Papa Tjurkurpa (Dingo Dreaming) and of Pukara, his grandfather’s country in western Australia and which this year won Jimmy the General Painting award, which, under new rules for this years NATSIAA awards, meant that Mr Donegan was also eligible for the big prize.