Talking With Warlayirti Artists

Winifred Nanala – Artist


Winifred is an experienced artist who comes from a well-known family of painters. Her parents were artists and she has many sisters who have become artists as well. Her sister Elizabeth Gordon had the first Warlayirti Artists solo exhibition back in the early 1990’s.


I belong to the Napaltjarri skin group from Balgo. Sometimes I’ve lived in Mulan which is a little community not far from Balgo. I’ve got five kids and ten grandkids. Some of them live in Balgo, some of them in Halls Creek.

I used to sit with my Mum and Dad and paint when I was young. They told me stories while they were painting. They’re both famous. My Mum, Ningie Nanala, still paints. (Her father Tjumpo Tjapanangka passed away in 2007.)

I paint a few different stories. One is about Lake Mackay, Wilkinkarra which is my Father’s country. He told me about what happened. There was a big fire there. He told me the Tjukurrpa story, the Dreaming story. There was a big fire that burnt down the mountain and left ash, and that’s the white sand, white salt of the big salt lake, Wilkinkarra. I also paint the Tali, the sand hills.

Next Generation
My daughter Rachel has started to paint a little bit. She will sit with me. She is learning from me. She’s looking at my painting. She wants to do more.

What Its Like To Paint
When I paint I feel happy and proud to carry on what Mum and Dad taught me. I want to make my family proud and get famous like my parents.

Art Centre
The Art Centre means a lot to me. We want it to be strong for the next generation. It’s an important place for us.


Miriam Baadjo – Artist

Warlayirti Artist Miriam Baadjo

Warlayirti Artist Miriam Baadjo

Miriam is a hard-working artist who is one of the first to arrive at the Art Centre when it opens every day. She loves to travel and will jump at the chance to attend exhibitions, interstate and overseas.

My Gift

I’m from Balgo and I’ve been painting since 2000. I enjoy painting because I’ve got a gift. That gift comes from God.

In the early days, I did some glass work and then I started painting. I’ve done some screen printing. A long time ago I made jewellery as well.

Dreamtime Story
I paint my uncle’s story. It is a story about two women travelling around with two children.

Working At the Art Centre
I go to the art centre and stay there all day from when it opens until when it closes. I feel happy and proud when I’m there. I mix all my colours myself.

My sister Tossie paints, but not much. She’s got lots of kids to look after.

Revealed Exhibition
I’ve been to the Revealed exhibition before. I enjoy it. This week we did some silk painting and tie-dyeing.


I’m a West Coast Eagles fan. I’ve seen West Coast play in Melbourne against Geelong. This weekend we are watching them play Fremantle.

I’ve done a lot of travel with my art. I’ve been to Japan and to Melbourne a couple of times. Not many people like leaving the community because they get frightened, but I like it. I’ve been to Sydney. I did a screen print design for the women’s centre. They made a t-shirt.