The architects stated:
Both the imagery and style of the Papunya painters are especially appropriate to this location, since the iconography of their paintings is frequently one of itineraries through the landscape, of special powers associated with particular places, and of moments of meeting and coming together.
(Mitchell/Giurgola and Thorp, Report on the Conceptual Basis of the Art Program for New Parliament House, 1983).
Five artists from the Western Desert were invited to submit designs for the mosaic: Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri, Paddy Carrol Tjungurrayi, Maxie Tjampitjinpa, Two Bob Tjungurrayi and Michael Nelson Jagamara. Each artist submitted two paintings of 140 cm x 140 cm (one tenth of the scale of the mosaic), in a range of colours that corresponded to the available colours for the stone mosaic pieces. The mosaic took stonemasons William McIntosh, Franco Colussi and Aldo Rossi 18 months to complete.