Bert Jackson was born and raised around Miramirratjarra near the border of Western Australia and South Australia. Jackson comes from Spinifex country and describes himself as a Spinifex person and his language as Pitjantjatjara. Like other Spinifex people his life was traumatised by Maralinga atomic tests and he drifted into Cundeelee Mission at some time during the 1950s or 60s and was given his approximate birthdate by mission authorities.
The Spinifex people returned to their homelands in the 1980s. In doing so they found the southern part of their country converted into nature reserve; the northern third leased to Aboriginal people living to the north and the centre Vacant Crown Land. The Spinifex People were upset and, spurred on by the Mabo judgement of 1992, mounted a Native Title claim over 55,000 km of land. As part of the broader Native Title process, the Spinifex Arts Project was established in 1996 to record and document ownership of the Spinifex Area. Initially focused on Native Title documentation, the painting project grew rapidly and in 1998 the community produced a series of ten large paintings to be bequeathed to the people of Western Australia in a symbolic exchange of paintings for land.
Bert Jackson is an important senior elder who has produced one painting to date.