Australian Aboriginal Artists

Abie Loy Artist Profile Picture

Abie Loy


Region: Utopia

Abie Loy Kemarre was born in 1972 on the Utopia homelands, 270 kms north east of Alice Springs in Central Australia. Her language is Eastern Anmatyerre and her ancestral country is Iylenty, also called Mosquito Bore. Abie Loy began painting in 1994 alongside her grandmother, esteemed senior Utopia Aboriginal artist Kathleen Petyarre.

Abie Loy established her reputation amongst leading Australian aboriginal artists painting the detailed and finely dotted Bush Hen Dreaming, the story that she inherited from her Grandfather. These paintings, with their fixed structure overlaid with a floating field of tonally coloured dots, are classic Utopia artworks. From 2004 Abie Loy began working on paintings related to Sandhill and Body painting designs. These works are bolder and more open than the earlier works, often with strong linear structures.

Abie Loy Kemarre has exhibited widely and has been a finalist in the Telstra NAATSIA art awards in 1997 and 2001. Her first exhibition at Japingka Gallery was held in 1997.

The work of Abie Loy Kemarre has been exhibited regularly by Japingka Gallery including-

2012 Desert Gold
2012 Recent Works
2012 Sandover River Country
2012 Little Gems
2011 In Black and White
2008 Utopia Collection
2006 Luminaries of the Desert
2002 Generations
2002 Kimberley, Central Desert & Utopia
2001 Little Gems
1999 Utopia - Recent Works
1998 Utopia Dreamings
1997 Mountain Devil Lizard Dreaming

Andrea Adamson Artist Profile Picture

Andrea Adamson


Region: APY Lands

Andrea Adamson was born on Pitjantjatjara lands in 1973. Her paintings reflect the deep cultural connections that her people hold to the Jukurrpa Dreaming stories of her ancestral lands. Andrea has lived in Alice Springs and Adelaide but her paintings connect directly back to the traditional stories that are part of Anangu culture.

Many of Andrea’s artworks reflect the Seven Sisters creation story that has a songline connecting up hundreds of sites and locations across her country. In painting the maps of this extensive Jukurrpa or Dreaming story the artist celebrates and reinforces the stories that underpin traditional law and culture on Anangu lands. Andrea has worked as a cultural guide at Uluru and shared traditional knowledge on customs and on the plants and animals of the land. Her paintings are colourful depictions of the great stories of her forebears. Aboriginal art status - Rising Star.

Angelina Ngal Pwerle Artist Profile Picture

Angelina Ngal Pwerle


Region: Utopia

Angelina Ngal Pwerle is the sister of fellow Utopia artists Kathleen Ngal and Polly Ngal. For the earlier part of her career she was known as Angelina Pwerle, from her married name to artist Louis Pwerle. Angelina was born in 1947 at Utopia. Later during the mid 1970s as the traditional owners at Utopia were preparing to receive freehold title to their traditional lands, the women participated in a batik arts project aimed at creating commercial income for the people on the land.

Angelina Ngal and her sisters were involved with the large group of Utopia women in the batik project, which later merged into the first painting project in 1989. This was exhibited in Sydney as ‘The First works on Canvas: A Summer Project’ and led to the great acrylic on canvas paintings subsequently made on the Utopia homelands.

Anna Petyarre Artist Profile Picture

Anna Petyarre


Region: Utopia

Anna Petyarre is an eastern Anmatyerre woman, born at Utopia in 1960. Anna's home is Atneltyeye, Boundary Bore, on the Utopia Homelands, approximately 220 km from Alice Springs. She lives there with her family. She is a grandmother with five grandchildren. Anna, whose mother was the late artist Glory Ngale, has painted since her early childhood. She is related to the esteemed Aboriginal artists Emily Kame Kngwarreye and Kudditji Kngwarreye through her grandfather, who was a brother of Emily and Kudditji's father.

Anna Petyarre's painting subjects include Bush Yam and Yam Seed Dreamings, which are associated Dreamings from her grandfather's and father's country at Atneltyeye, or Boundary Bore. As a traditional Aboriginal women involved in sacred ceremonies, Anna also paints Awelye- ceremonial body paint designs, related to women's ceremony.

Anna's more recent paintings have focused on images of her ancestral country, the finely delineated structures showing the terrain of the sandhill and bush country, often with markings that reveal waterholes and ceremonial sites. Anna Petyarre is renowned for her fine painting technique and for the care and pride she takes in her work, producing intricate and sensitive paintings that relate to the traditional culture of her Anmatyerre heritage.

Japingka Gallery has exhibited Anna Petyarre’s paintings over many years and the artist’s work has been included in a number of exhibitions including-

2012 Recent Works
2012 Little Gems
2011 In Black & White
2010 Summer Collection
2008 Utopia Collection
2001 Small Works

Artists of Utopia Artist Profile Picture

Artists of Utopia


Region: Utopia

The artists of Utopia have maintained a unique place in the story of the Aboriginal art movement. Beginning in 1978 with large groups of women artists learning the batik process at Utopia, the groups developed strong bonds and artistic strengths that brought them recognition and acclaim. Then in 1989 the artist group started to paint on canvases, using the skills they learned from batik to make multi-layered paintings based on traditional community stories and ceremonial practices.

Emily Kame Kngwarreye emerged in the early 1980s as the major star of the group with her prolific and often large scale works. The emergence of brighter colours and dense overlays of design were distinctive. Other senior women in the group steadily established their names including Gloria Petyarre, Kathleen Petyarre, Minnie Pwerle, Polly Ngale, Abie Loy, and Barbara Weir. Today the number of Utopia artists working and exhibiting runs into the hundreds, as the children and grandchildren of the senior artists join the art movement and add their own initiatives to this unique art movement.

Athena Nangala Granites Artist Profile Picture

Athena Nangala Granites


Region: Yuendumu

Athena Nangala Granites is the grandaughter of the esteemed artist Alma Nungarrayi Granites (1955–2017). The artistic streak runs deep in her family starting with her great grandparents Paddy Japaljarri Sims (c1917-2010) and Bessie Nakamarra Sims (c1932-2012). Both Paddy and Bessie were early painters with the Warlukurlangu Artists group that was established in Yuendumu in 1985. The art centre was only the second organisation to be set up in the Central Desert and has gone on to represent the largest group Aboriginal artists working today.

Athena’s grandmother Alma Granites carried on the Star Dreaming story painted by Paddy Sims, creating a distinctive body of work on the Seven Sisters Jukurrpa story. The songline for this Dreaming is extensive and crosses the lands of many different Aboriginal language groups. The story is shared by custodians across the country and each focuses on the section or chapter of the story that relates directly to their country.

Athena Nangala Granites inherits the story and style of representation developed by her grandmother. Although young, born in 1994, Athena has worked at the art centre in Yuendumu since 2010. Now married with one child, Athena inherits cultural stories from her father’s side related to Water Dreaming and from her mother’s side for Snake Vine Dreaming and Seven Sisters Dreaming. These stories relate directly to her family lands and to the features as well as plants and animals that live there, and to the Creation story of the night sky.

Belinda Golder Kngwarreye Artist Profile Picture

Belinda Golder Kngwarreye


Region: Utopia

Belinda Golder Kngwarreye is a Utopia artist painting the Bush Plum or conkerberry Dreaming story, which is called anwekety. The artworks represent the plant Carissa lanceolate, a spiny shrub that bears the bush plum fruits. The plant has medicinal qualities as well as being a food source.

Belinda paints the Bush Plum story using large dots with mixed colours in each brush stroke. The colours represent the different stages of the fruit as it ripens from seed to flower to fruit. The Jukurrpa story comes from her grandmother and major artist Polly Ngale. Belinda Golder also shares her artistic heritage with her sister Janet Golder and her mother Bessie Purvis Petyarre. Aboriginal art status - Rising Star.

Betty Mbitjana (Mpetyane) Artist Profile Picture

Betty Mbitjana (Mpetyane)


Region: Utopia

Betty Mpetyane (also spelt Mbitjana) was born on Utopia station in 1957 in the era when the station was still run by non-indigenous owners. Later in 1979 a successful land claim hearing resulted in Utopia station being granted as permanent legal title of the leasehold to the community of traditional elders. The Utopia women played a key role in the negotiation of the land title.

Betty Mbitjana had grown up and spent her early years on the station mixing a traditional life with a western schooling. Betty Mbitjana is the daughter of acclaimed Aboriginal Utopia artist Minnie Pwerle, and is sister of Barbara Weir and niece of Emily Pwerle. As her mother Minnie Pwerle became more famous for her paintings, Betty developed an interest in painting and learned from Minnie's innovative blending of colours.

Since her mother passed away in 2006, Betty Mbitjana 's career has developed in its own right, building on her acquired knowledge and developing her own methods of expression. Betty has taken on the many of the ceremonial stories painted by her late mother. Betty lives at Alparra Community on Utopia station. Aboriginal art status - Mid career artist.

Selected Exhibitions

2012 Heirs and Successors, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA
2012 Little Gems, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA
2012 Desert Gold, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA
2013 I colori del deserto, Galleria Isarte (in collaboration with Japingka), Milan Italy
2014 Desert Song, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA

Biddee Baadjo Artist Profile Picture

Biddee Baadjo


Region: Wangkatjungka

Biddee Baadjo, a senior Wangkatjungka woman, was born around 1938, near Purrpurn waterhole, located in her ancestral country in the Great Sandy Desert in Western Australia. When she was still a baby, she was snatched by an eagle from a coolamon, where she had been left sleeping by her mother when the family was out hunting. Her mother saw the eagle swoop away with the child, and chased after it. The eagle dropped Biddee into the spinifex grass, and her mother found her there crying.

During the 1940s Biddee Baadjo’s family joined the exodus of Wangkatjungka people who left the desert and travelled north towards the cattle station country of the Fitzroy Valley region. Aboriginal people followed the Canning Stock Route towards Bililuna, or travelled north west following a trail of creek beds and waterholes, that headed towards Fitzroy Crossing.

Biddee Baadjo has lived and worked at Wangkatjungka Community, located adjacent to Christmas Creek station, between Halls Creek and Fitzroy Crossing. Aboriginal artists began painting in the community in 1994. Biddee lived there with her husband, fellow painter Luurn Willie Kew. Biddee Baadjo’s paintings relocate the significant waterholes and hunting areas that have been the province of her family for countless generations.

Bill Whiskey Tjapaltjarri Artist Profile Picture

Bill Whiskey Tjapaltjarri


Region: Haasts Bluff

Bill Whiskey Tjapaltjarri, (1920's - 2008), was born at Pirupa Akla, country located near the Olgas and to the west of Ayers Rock. By the time he was a young man, most of Bill Whiskey's family had passed away. Many of his people had begun moving towards Haasts Bluff mission, about 250 kms to the north east. Whiskey joined a group of Aboriginal people who were about to make that journey. No one had yet seen white people, and when they arrived at the mission, the desert people were completely naked.

Bill Whiskey, along with some of the others, decided not stay, as they were frightened when they saw white people for the first time. They eventually arrived at an area near Areyonga, where a white missionary Pastor had established a camp. It was here that Whiskey and the others first tasted white man food. Whiskey spent a little time with Patupirri before moving back to Haasts Bluff mission, where he met his wife, and so never returned to his home country.

Bill Whiskey Tjapaltjarri practiced as a traditional healer, and people would come from afar to be treated by him. He came to be called Whiskers, owing to his long white beard, and the name eventually evolved into Whiskey. Later in life Whiskey moved to an outstation at Amunturrungu, where he lived with his wife and children. Bill Whiskey Tjapaltjarri began painting in 2004. The main images in his works are the Rockholes near Pirupa, Ayers Rock, and the story of his own journeys to Areyonga and Haasts Bluff.

A selection of paintings by Bill Whiskey Tjapaltjarri is available from Japingka Gallery, where collectors can buy Aboriginal art online with certainty of quality, authenticity and provenance of art works.

Japingka Gallery has exhibited the work of Bill Whiskey Tjapaltjarri over many years and the artist’s work has been included in a number of exhibitions including-

2013 Landmarks and Law Grounds - Men of the Desert
2011 In Black and White
2009 Watiyawanu Artists
2008 Watiyawanu Artists
2007 The Stockman and the Medicine Man: Jack Dale & Bill Whiskey Tjapaltjarri
2007 Watiyawanu Artists of Amunturrngu
2006 Luminaries of the Desert

Black and White Collection Artist Profile Picture

Black and White Collection


Region: Alice Springs

Many Aboriginal artists have created a distinctive sense of their own style by using a restricted palette of black and white in their paintings. A brief look at the approaches of several artists highlight how they have used the contrast and design qualities created through black and white to strengthen their message.

The black and white format is successfully used by Mt Liebig artist Lily Kelly Napangardi to create a feeling of the vast sandhill terrain that dominates her desert homelands. By varying the intensity and tone of the white dotting on a black background, Lily Kelly achieves a sense of a grand, shifting landscape that has a sense of mystery attached to it.

Anna Petyarre, who draws on the landscapes around Boundary Bore on the Utopia homelands, uses finely dotted black and white linear designs to create her country. The structures, like those of Lily Kelly, suggest the effects of wind and water on the desert landscape. Long lines of sandhills with meandering watercourses are revealed as structures of great importance to Anna’s ancestral stories.

Eva Nelson Napaltjarri uses intricate black and white dotting in her paintings of the Ngadajirri or Budgerigar Dreaming story from Mt Dennison, in Central Australia. She creates the contours and waterholes of the site where the Budgerigars flock at nesting time. The fine contrasts of the black and white treatment suggest both the minute detail and scale of the birds’ environment.

Veteran desert artist Ronnie Tjampitjinpa uses a bold linear style to create the symbols associated with Water Dreaming and the Tingari stories from Pintupi country. By reducing the forms to black and white Ronnie starkly maps out the designs as they have been created since ancient times as sand paintings or incised designs on artefacts or rock surfaces. While the Aboriginal artists’ approaches in this collection vary greatly, all manage to achieve a distinctive quality by using the limited contrast found in black and white.

Kerry Madawyn McCarthy
Ronnie Tjampitjinpa
Margaret Lewis Napangardi
Mitjili Napurrula
Colours of the Earth
Dorothy Napangardi & Kim West Napurrula

Charmaine Pwerle Artist Profile Picture

Charmaine Pwerle


Region: Utopia

Charmaine Pwerle was born in Alice Springs in 1975, and has spent her life surrounded by some of the best known names amongst the Utopia artists of Central Australia. Charmaine Pwerle is the daughter of artist Barbara Weir and granddaughter of the famous Minnie Pwerle.

Through her early life Charmaine was also in contact with many other well known Utopia artists including Emily Kngwarreye and Gloria Petyarre. This early experience built into her make-up the strong desire to paint and to represent traditional stories that were part of her heritage, particularly the women’s ceremonial designs and stories that were passed down from her grandmother Minnie Pwerle.

Charmaine Pwerle first went to primary school at Utopia, before moving to Adelaide then back to Alice Springs for the end of her schooling. Charmaine Pwerle returned to Utopia for a few years before going back to Adelaide for further study. In 1992 Charmaine Pwerle was back in Utopia and working for Urapuntja Council. During this time Charmaine Pwerle lived at Soakage Bore, an outstation on Utopia Station, with her mother Barbara Weir and grandparents Minnie Pwerle and Motorcar Jim.

During these years at Utopia Charmaine Pwerle became further involved in her traditional culture and it was then that her grandmothers passed down many of the sacred stories to her. Today Charmaine Pwerle has four daughters and a step-daughter and currently lives in Alice Springs with her children and partner.

Clarise Tunkin Artist Profile Picture

Clarise Tunkin


Region: APY Lands

Clarise Tunkin is a fourth generation artist from Kanpi on the APY Lands in South Australia. Kanpi was established as a family outstation for the extended Baker family clan, which has produced a line of highly recognised artists. These include Jimmy Baker, Clarise’s great-grandfather, Kay Baker Clarise’s grandmother and Teresa Baker who is Clarise’s mother.

Clarise began painting in her late teens after being taught by her mother Teresa. Many of her stories relate to Marlilu, a creation story from APY Lands, where Clarise has visited some of the creation sites connected to the stories. Clarise has been exhibiting her artwork since 2015 and has twice been a contributor to the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award (NATSIAA) in Darwin.

Collaboration Wangkatjungka Artists Artist Profile Picture

Collaboration Wangkatjungka Artists


Region: Wangkatjungka

Senior Aboriginal artists at Wangkatjungka Community have been painting together since 1994. The majority of the artists grew up on their ancestral lands in the Great Sandy Desert and were children when their parents joined the great exodus of families out of the Western Desert areas. Their families first contact with white settlers was in 1906 when the Canning Stock Route was being surveyed through their traditional country.

Wangkatjungka people moved to their community after a long exodus that took many of them through Balgo Hills, Halls Creek and the Fitzroy Valley cattle station country. The record of Aboriginal family ownership of groups of waterholes in the Great Sandy Desert is embedded in the knowledge and Dreaming law of Wangkatjungka people. Several waterholes were claimed by the Canning Stock Route builders and have had wells excavated next to them. Others are in more remote country and only knowledge by the traditional owners allows them to be mapped and connected to other waterholes.

The paintings can be seen as statements of connection between the traditional owners and the neighbourhood of chains of waterholes that underpinned life for Wangkatjungka people of the Great Sandy Desert. The senior Wangkatjungka artists include Biddee Baadjo, Elsie Thomas (dec.), George Tuckerbox, Nada Rawlins, Nora Tjookootja, Penny K Lyons, Rosie Goodjie and Willie Kew. Aboriginal art status - Highly regarded artists.

Artists participating in the collaborative paintings include Biddee Baadjo, Nada Rawlins, George Tuckerbox, Rosie Goodjie, Penny K-Lyons, Elsie Thomas (dec.), Luurn Willie Kew, Stumpy Brown (dec.), Nora Tjookootja, Jill Jack and Janie Lee (dec.). Japingka Gallery has exhibited Wangkatjungka collaborative paintings and works by the senior artists of the community for many years, which include the following exhibitions -

2011 Kimberley Artists
2010 Martu Men
2010 Wangkatjungka Artists
2009 Biddee Baadjo
2009 Desert Rain - Wangkatjungka Artists
2009 Luurn Willie Kew
2008 The Canning Stock Route - Wangkatjungka Artists-
2007 Desert Mosaic
2007 Wangkatjungka Artists- Mapping Country
2004 Tali and Jila - New Works from Wangkatjungka
2003 Wangkatjungka Women Artists
2003 Artists of Wangkatjungka

Cowboy Loy Pwerl Artist Profile Picture

Cowboy Loy Pwerl


Region: Utopia

Cowboy Louie (Loy) Pwerle is an Eastern Anmatyerr elder, and was born about 1941 on Old MacDonald station. He now lives at Mosquito Bore, or Iylenty, on the Utopia Homelands, with his two wives, the sisters Carol and Elizabeth Kngwarreye. Cowboy Loy is younger brother to the now deceased Louie Pwerle, an important Utopian artist. The traditional country for this family lies to the west of the Sandover River, stretching from Utopia station to Mt Skinner.

The name he is known as, Cowboy, derives from his reputation as a stockman and his flashy dressing. Although living mostly at Mosquito Bore, Cowboy Loy also spends time at Boundary Bore on the western border of Utopia and at Soakage Bore (Atnarare), south-east of Iylentye. Cowboy Louie Pwerle has been painting since the 1980s, and his work has been exhibited widely in galleries around the world, including in Paris and Moscow. He is represented in the National Gallery of Victoria and the Art Gallery of South Australia, as well as in numerous private collections.

Damien Marks and Yilpi Marks Artist Profile Picture

Damien Marks and Yilpi Marks


Region: Alice Springs

Damien Marks and Yilpi Marks are a husband and wife team who often paint collaboratively as well as individually. Damien Marks Jangala was born at Haasts Bluff in 1967 and later moved to Papunya with his family, then to South Australia. His mentors were Clifford Possum, Billy Stockman and Uta Uta Jangala, who taught him Dreaming stories at an early age.

Yilpi Marks Atira was born in Ernabella in 1969 and was taught the dreaming stories by her grandparents and her parents. Her mother Tjulkiwa Atira-Atira and her father Michael Atira-Atira (dec), were both talented artists and were represented in the collections of the National Gallery of Australia and the State Gallery of South Australia.

When Damien Marks and Yilpi Marks were married they lived first in Damien’s country near Papunya before moving to South Australia and then recently to Alice Springs. Yilpi and Damien Marks frequently paint together, their paintings detailing the ceremonial body paint designs, as well as ceremonial tools and other body adornments. They paint in a method typical of the Western Desert painters using dots to convey their intimate knowledge of their country, which they represent from an aerial perspective. Aboriginal art status - Rising Stars.

Selected Exhibitions

2012 Heirs and Successors, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA

David Downs Artist Profile Picture

David Downs


Region: Fitzroy Crossing

Jarinyanu David Downs (1925-1995) was one of the great figurative painters of the Kimberley, successfully using ochre paints to recreate the great Walmajarri Storm Being Kurtal. Jarinyanu David Downs was custodian for the rain ceremony, with its dancers dressed for the Kurtal ceremony in long headdresses that represented the billowing clouds that foretell a rain-bearing storm heading for the desert. The Kurtal ceremony became a public ceremony in Fitzroy Crossing in the Kimberley and was performed widely in the late 1980s under the guidance of custodian Jarinyanu David Downs. A performance was enacted in Tokyo in 1987 as part of an exhibition for fellow Walmajarri artist Jimmy Pike. Aboriginal art status - Highly collectable artist.

Debra Young Nakamarra Artist Profile Picture

Debra Young Nakamarra


Region: Kintore

In her paintings Debra Young Nakamarra (b.1964) depicts designs associated with the rockhole and cave site of Tjintjintjin in Western Australia, about 70 kms west of the Kintore community. The various shapes in the painting depict the geographical features in the area through which the Tingari Ancestor, the old woman Kutungka Napanangka, passed during her travels. She was travelling from Malparingya on her way to Muruntji, south-west of Mt. Liebig. She then travelled to Kaltarra where she entered the earth.

The designs represented include sandhills and rockholes in the vicinity of the places where the Kutungka narratives took place. Debra Young Nakamarra has painted the Women’s Tingari narratives from her Mother’s country. In the Tingari Dreaming stories that take place on her traditional country, the Creation Ancestors travelled east across the Western Desert. The events of their journey created all the landmarks and sacred sites on that country. Events associated with the Tingari Cycle are defined culturally as being of secret content and so only limited general information is available.

Selected Group Exhibitions

2014 Mini Masters: Small Works, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA
2015 Sixteen Artists – 16 x 2, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA

Debra Nangala McDonald Artist Profile Picture

Debra Nangala McDonald


Region: Haasts Bluff

Debra Nangala McDonald has carried on some of the artistic legacy of her grandfather Shorty Lungkata Tjungurrayi with her paintings referring to his ancestral country south of Lake MacDonald. These stories include the Goanna Love story, which shows the circular mounds of sand around the burrows of the goanna, which refers both to the Ancestor spirits of the goanna and to the hunters who seek out the nests. The tunnels link the goannas nests underground and the people follow the signs in their search for the eggs.

Debra Nangala McDonald was born in 1969 at Papunya and has lived at Haasts Bluff and in Adelaide. She is related to artists Linda Syddick Napaltjarri and Wentja Napaltjarri, her aunts, and works closely with her mother in law Mitjili Napurrula. Debra favours a tradition use of colours, often combining black, red and white and other earth colours to tell the age old stories from her family’s ancestry. Further background to her painting can be found in Geoffrey and James Bardon’s book “Papunya: A Place Made After the Story. The Beginning of the Western Desert Painting Movement”. Aboriginal art status – Recognised artist.

Delvine Petyarre Artist Profile Picture

Delvine Petyarre


Region: Utopia

Delvine Petyarre was born at Utopia to the north-east of Alice Springs in 1982. She is an Anmatyerre speaker and has a strong tradition of artists in her family. Her sister is Anna Petyarre, her mother is Glory Ngale and her grandfather is brother to artists Kudditji Kngwarreye and Emily Kame Kngwarreye.

Delvine Petyarre is recognisably very close in artistic style to her sister Anna. She works in the strong heritage of Utopia women who record stories of Country and the natural resources and bush foods that are the basis of their traditional lifestyle.

Delvine Petyarre is a skilled artist with close connections to Anmatyerre country and the rich vein of artistsic expression that flows from that location.

Dennis Nona Artist Profile Picture

Dennis Nona


Region: Torres Strait

Dennis Nona has applied the traditional carving skills of his home in the Torres Strait and found new ways to express the old stories and legends through the medium of printmaking and sculpture. Dennis Nona was born in 1973 on Badu Island in the Torres Strait, north of Cape York Peninsula in Northern Queensland.

Dennis Nona has had a prolific exhibiting career and has taken his stories of traditional life lived along the islands of the Torres Strait to all parts of the world. His large carved linocut prints and delicate etchings reveal the qualities of islander life, and reflect the values and formative stories that enrich the culture of Torres Strait inhabitants.

Djambu Barra Barra Artist Profile Picture

Djambu Barra Barra


Region: Roper River

Djambu Barra Barra (1946– 2006), also spelt Sambo Burra Burra, was born in the Roper River area in southern Arnhem Land, and spent his early life at Nillipigee in Central Arnhem Land. In the 1960s his family moved closer to the non-Aboriginal settlements. Later in the 1980s Djambu Barra Barra moved to Ngukurr community with his wife, fellow artist Amy Jirwulurr Johnson, and their extended family.

Djambu Barra Barra began his painting career in 1987, and adapted traditional bark painting methods to create large, colourful canvas works featuring native animals with references to “big corroboree stories”. Djambu Barra Barra’s work is represented in major institutions and private collections. Aboriginal art status – Collectable artist.

Doris Gingingara Artist Profile Picture

Doris Gingingara


Region: Maningrida

Doris Gingingara (1946 – 1999) created a unique body of work based on her Arnhem Land heritage combined with her detailed observations of the bush and the natural world around her.Doris Gingingara’s preferred method of working was to use a range of ink marker pens on paper. With these she created a rich palette of warm colours and formed intricate patterns made using bands of colour.

Doris Gingingara’s own experience was diverse, growing up in the northern coastal community of Maningrida, then living in Darwin and finally moving to outback Western Australia, after the devastation caused by Cyclone Tracy in Darwin. In all these environments, Doris Gingingara was intrigued by the patterns and detail found in nature, and created her own stories wrapped around what she observed in nature.

The body of work that Doris Gingingara created comprises ink drawings and silkscreen prints that have her own distinctive artistic qualities. Aboriginal art status – Under-rated artist.

Dorothy Napangardi Artist Profile Picture

Dorothy Napangardi


Region: Yuendumu

Dorothy Napangardi (1952- 2013) was a highly regarded Warlpiri artist born around Mina Mina, west of Mt Doreen and Yuendumu in the Northern Territory. Dorothy Napangardi began painting 'bush tucker' designs in 1987 when her children were still quite young and well after she moved from her ancestral Warlpiri homelands into Alice Springs, where she has lived the greater part of her life.

Later Dorothy Napangardi began experimenting with her painting technique. This, along with visits back into her homelands in the 1990s, allowed her to refine her visual representation of her Jukurrpa (Dreamings) and stories associated with Mina Mina, culminating in the finely patterned, minimal paintings for which she is now so widely recognised.

Dorothy Napangardi’s Jukurrpa includes Salt Pan images and Digging Stick Dreaming (Karnta-Kurlangu). In 2001, Dorothy Napangardi won the coveted Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award for a black and white work, Salt on Mina Mina. In 2002, she was presented a major painting survey at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney. Dorothy Napangardi's innovative and distinctive painting style has earned her a reputation as one of the most important Aboriginal artists working today.

Dulcie Long Pwerle Artist Profile Picture

Dulcie Long Pwerle


Region: Utopia

Dulcie Long Pwerle continues the proud tradition of Utopia painters who draw on cultural stories and surround them with a contemporary interpretation. The Yam ceremonies performed by the Utopia women continue to pay homage to the important role that this bush food played in traditional life for Utopia people.

Dulcie Long Pwerle has significant artists in her family lineage, including her mother Jeannie Petyarre and other foundational artists of the Utopia art world Emily Kame Kngwarreye and Minnie Pwerle. Dulcie Long Pwerle is a relatively young artist, born at Boundary Bore in 1979. Her Anmatyerre forebears have instilled a strong artistic sensibility, and Dulcie’s artwork shows the great attention to detail and rhythmic movement that typifies the best painting from this region.

Edward Blitner Artist Profile Picture

Edward Blitner


Region: Roper River

Edward Blitner is a contemporary Arnhem Land artist who uses the techniques and stories taught to him by his grandfather on country around Ngukurr, on the Roper River in southern Arnhem Land. Edward Blitner was born in 1961 at Ngukurr and in his adult years has lived widely around the Northern Territory and Western Australia.

Edward Blitner has painted since he was very young and has a great facility with a range of painting mediums. Edward Blitner uses the styles, as well as the stories and subject matter, of his traditional Arnhem Land home country, and maintains the natural earth colours for the distinctive cross-hatching, or rrarrk patterns, on his paintings.

Eileen Napaltjarri Artist Profile Picture

Eileen Napaltjarri


Region: Haasts Bluff

Eileen Napaltjarri is a significant second generation Aboriginal artist of the Western Desert movement. Eileen was born in the Haasts Bluff community in December 1956 to the late Charlie Tararu Tjungurrayi, one of the founding members of Papunya Tula Artists, who forged a longstanding and innovative artistic career. Her mother, Tatali Nangala, was another accomplished and prolific painter. Eileen is the wife of leading Kintore artist, Kenny Williams Tjampitjinpa.

Eileen Napaltjarri moved from Haasts Bluff to Kintore with her family after the outstation was first established there in the early 1980s. She often sat beside her parents as they painted. In 1999, after the death of her mother, Eileen began to paint her own stories. Her "rhythmically abstract paintings", wrote journalist Nicolas Rothwell reviewing a Papunya Tula women's show in Alice Springs in late 2006, "have become the newest sign of the inventiveness of Kintore women."

The main site that Eileen refers to in her painting is her father's birthplace, Tjitjurrulnga (also known as Titjurrulpa), a rockhole to the west of Kintore. She depicts this with parallel and arching lines of sandhill country, which meet and diverge down the canvas, occasionally disrupted with openings and waterholes. Her distinct palette of rich and vibrant colours reverberates with tonal intensity.

Elizabeth Kunoth Kngwarray Artist Profile Picture

Elizabeth Kunoth Kngwarray


Region: Utopia

Elizabeth Kunoth Kngwarray is a prominent Utopia artist from Atneltyeye or Mosquito Bore on the Utopia Homelands 270 kms north-east of Alice Springs. Utopia is home to many of the great artists of the Central Desert and is located alongside the traditional estates of Alyawarre and Eastern Anmatyarre language groups.

Elizabeth Kunoth Kngwarray is strongly connected to the Utopia art movement. Her mother Nancy Petyarre and her aunts Gloria Petyarre and Kathleen Petyarre were major figures in the Aboriginal art world through the decades of the 1990s and 2000s. Elizabeth Kunoth paints alongside her husband Cowboy Loy Pwerl, continuing the tradition of Indigenous fine dot painting that has been a hallmark of the Utopia art style.

Elizabeth Kunoth has been a finalist in major Australian art prizes including the Wynne Prize in 2008 and 2010 and the Blake Prize in 2010. Her delicate artworks show aspects of the Yam Dreaming story which is a major ceremonial event of Anmatyarre people and which features strongly in artwork from the region.

Elsie Napanangka Granites Artist Profile Picture

Elsie Napanangka Granites


Region: Yuendumu

Warlpiri artist Elsie Napanangka Granites began her painting career in 1987 at her home community of Yuendumu in the Northern Territory. Elsie paints the major Women’s Dreaming stories from this region, including stories from the ceremonial grounds of Mina Mina and from her own traditional Country at Jayinki.

Elsie Napanangka Granites uses a restrained palette of colour to create her Dreaming stories, often using black and white or a group of earth colours. Elsie’s paintings have strong structures reflecting the sandhill landscape where the Jukurrpa Creation stories take place and the journey lines of Ancestors as they cross this landscape. Elsie Granites Napanangka has participated widely in exhibitions over the past decade and her artwork has an assured and professional quality. Her artwork has been exhibited Australia wide and in Europe. Aboriginal art status – Established artist.

Eubena Nampitjin Artist Profile Picture

Eubena Nampitjin


Region: Balgo

Eubena Nampitjin Obituary:

Eubena (Yupinya) Nampitjin (1920s-2013) was one of the best known of the Warlayirti Artists from Balgo Hills, in the north of Western Australia. Eubena was born at Tjinndjaldpa, south of Jupiter Well in the Great Sandy Desert, and was taught maparn, or traditional healing skills, as a young girl by her mother, Mukaka.

Eubena Nampitjin lived a nomadic life with her family in their ancestral country, hunting, performing ceremonies and law for the maintenance of their country and for their own spiritual well-being. It was a harsh life and gradually the extended family dispersed, many going west to the outstation of Jigalong. Eubena married Tjapaltjarrri Gimme, and with their family then went droving along the Canning Stock Route, before settling at Billiluna Station, 220 km south of Halls Creek.

When the Aboriginal painting movement spread from Central Australia to the remote outpost of Balgo in the 1980s, it was the men who began to paint first, and Eubena began by collaborating with her second husband Wimmitji Tjapanardi. Their work shared a luminous and intricate complexity along with a love of the warm reds, oranges and yellows that continue to be Eubena's signature today.

The major Dreaming stories depicted by Eubena Nampitjin in her work are from the Tingari (Ancestral women) cycle and the Wati Kutjarra (Two Men Dreaming). Other themes in her paintings include Tjumu (soak water), Tjukarra (rock holes), Malu (Kangaroo Dreaming), Bush Tomato, Goanna, Mouse, Moon and Dingo Dreaming.

Eunice Napanangka Jack Artist Profile Picture

Eunice Napanangka Jack


Region: Haasts Bluff

Eunice Napanangka Jack is a senior painter with Ikuntji Artists at Haasts Bluff in Central Australia. Eunice was born in 1940 on the Western Australian side of the border near Tjukurla, and at a young age walked with her family east to Haasts Bluff. This was an era when major drought affected all the central desert regions and people were being forced off their Country to seek refuge at ration depots on the eastern edge of the desert.

Eunice grew up at Haasts Bluff and her family were closely associated with the new Desert Art movement that began at Papunya in 1972. Eunice’s father Tutuma Tjapangarti and her husband Gideon Tjupurrula Jack both were painters at Papunya Tula. Eunice assisted her husband with his art until she began her own painting career in 1992 with Ikuntji Artists. Since then Eunice Napanangka Jack has become a prominent artist and cultural elder, with her paintings represented in major art collections worldwide.

Eunice paints aspects of the country and its associated Tjukurrpa or Creation stories from her father’s country around Tjukurla and from her mother’s country to the north at Winparrku near Lake MacKay. Aboriginal art status – Collectable artist.

Fiona Omeenyo Artist Profile Picture

Fiona Omeenyo


Region: Lockhart River

Fiona Omeenyo often paints images from the great ancestral narrative related to the Sea Eagle and the Parrot Twins. The story is re told from the Lockhart community as follows - 'A long time ago a man named Miiku lived at Pathaco, in the Chester River region. One night another man from the area, Pama, carried a message stick and gave it to Miiku, who carefully read the message. It was an invitation from the chief of the Parrot tribe Tinta, for Miiku to attend the wedding ceremony for the chief's twin daughters to marry the son of the Sea Eagle Kuchuutu. The wedding was to take place in two days time, at full moon.

Miiku was thinking -'the chief promised the girls for me'. Then he became very angry, so he got up and started to dance corroboree mulkarri. He danced and danced until it began to rain ... it rained so heavily that the tide came up and started to flood. The chief of the Tinta tribe knew that Miiku is doing this, so he called everyone to move to higher ground so that the wedding will carry on. Before the night of the wedding, Miiku had packed up his stuff and put them in his dugout canoe and paddled to the wedding ground. But when he got there no one was there, he couldn't see anyone around.

He then thought to himself 'Oh yes, they must have gone up to higher ground'. So he started to travel along, and as he came near the place he could hear the sound of clapping sticks. While everyone was busy, he called out to the parrot sisters and they came towards him. He stole the two parrot sisters and took them back to Pathaco. When he got there his humpy was washed away. He then took his canoe and paddled to the island called Me-chuthii - Hay Island. He made a grass hut there and hid the twin sisters.

Whenever you go to Me-chuthii you can see that grass mound where he hid the chief's daughters. If you poke the mound, you see Miiku come out. From that day till today you can see the Sea Eagle, Kuchuutu, hovering from coast to coast searching for the parrot twins, the Tinta twins. This is a true story, this thing really happened at Pathaco, before time.' Aboriginal art status – Established artist.

Freddie Timms Artist Profile Picture

Freddie Timms


Region: Kununurra

Freddie Timms (1944-2017) was given the bush name, Ngarrmaliny, after the place he was born at, Police Hole, on the East Kimberley cattle station of Bedford Downs. Growing up on station properties, Freddie Timms learned all the riding and stock handling skills at an early age. He worked on most of the surrounding stations, including Bedford Downs, Lissadell, Mabel Downs, Old Argyle, Texas Downs and Bow River Station.

After the stockmen's dispute in the seventies, which resulted in the removal of many Aboriginal people from their homelands, Freddie Timms lived in the Guda-Guda Community at Wyndham, after which he and his family relocated to Warmun/Turkey Creek in 1985. Bow River Station was eventually granted by the Government to the Timms family, with Freddie's uncle, the late Timmy Timms, as Chairperson.

Freddie Timms and his wife Beryline Mung live at the tiny community of Frog Hollow where Freddie paints his stories. He started painting in the late 1980s, using the knowledge and techniques that he had acquired by working and talking with the best of the Aboriginal artists at Warmun, such as Jack Britten, Hector Jandanay, Henry Wambini, Rover Thomas and his father-in-law, Paddy Jaminji. Freddie Timms’ representations of country are mainly based on real topographical features rather than mythological ones, often focusing on the landscape's history and changes since white settlement.

Japingka Gallery has exhibited Freddie Timms’ paintings and the artist’s work has been included in a number of exhibitions including -

2013 Landmarks & Law Grounds
2010 Freddie Timms Ngarrmaliny
2009 In Ochre
2007 Ochre on Board
2006 Towards Black and White

A selection of paintings by Freddie Timms is available from Japingka Gallery, where collectors can buy Aboriginal art online with certainty of quality, authenticity and provenance of art works.

Gabriella Possum Nungurrayi Artist Profile Picture

Gabriella Possum Nungurrayi


Region: Mt Allan

Gabriella Possum Nungurrayi is the eldest daughter of Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri, and his wife, Lurritja woman Emily Nakamarra Possum. Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri (1932-2002) established his reputation as one of the renowned founding artists of the Papunya Tula desert art movement.

Taught by her father, Gabriella Possum began painting at an early age. She won her first award in 1983 at the Alice Springs Art Prize. Working with traditional stories, Gabriella Possum Nungurrayi, like other younger central desert artists, has absorbed the technical skills of her elders while bringing her own inventiveness to present her stories in a unique way.

Gabriella Possum’s colours are inspired by the dramatic colours of her central desert homelands. Her Dreamings include Women’s Ceremonies, Seven Sisters, Bush Tucker, Black Seed, Bush Coconut, Goanna and Serpent Dreamings. These stories have been handed down through countless generations of ancestors. The Seven Sisters Dreaming was inherited by Gabriella Possum Nungurrayi from her mother and grandmother and given to her by her father. This story takes place at 'Twenty Mile' located near Napperby Creek in the Northern Territory. Aboriginal art status – Established artist.

Galya Pwerle Artist Profile Picture

Galya Pwerle


Region: Utopia

Utopia artist Galya Pwerle is the sister to Minnie Pwerle (1914-2006), who has become one of Australia’s most recognised Aboriginal artists. Galya Pwerle, who was born in the 1930s, is part of a powerful clan of artists from the Utopia homelands. As an older artist, Galya Pwerle painted alongside two of her sisters, Molly Pwerle and Emily Pwerle, who are the aunts of the renowned painter, Barbara Weir.

Galya Pwerle paints aspects of Awelye, women’s ceremonial body paint designs, as well as the bush damper design, derived from the staple food made from wild grass seeds, used to make bush bread. Galya Pwerle maintains the strong style of painting recognisable from her family clan of Utopia artists.


2005 Permanent exhibition and collection, Dacou Australia, Rosewater, SA
2005 Group exhibition, Mbantua Gallery, Alice Springs NT
2005 Group exhibition, Gallery SAvah, Sydney NSW
2006 The Pwerle Sisters, Flinders Lane Gallery, Melbourne Vic
2006 Group Exhibition, APS Bendi Lango Art Exhibition, Rio Tinto Offices, Melbourne Vic
2006 The Pwerle Sisters, Artmob Gallery, Hobart Tas
2006/07 Group exhibition, Fireworks Gallery, Brisbane Qld
2007 Permanent exhibition, Dacou Adelaide, Port Adelaide SA
2007 Standing on Ceremony, Tandanya Cultural Institute, Adelaide SA
2007 Utopia in New York, Robert Steele Gallery, New York, USA
2007 Annual Group Exhibition ‘Shalom’, University of NSW, Shalom Department, Kensington, NSW
2007 Desert Diversity, Flinders Lane Gallery, Melbourne Vic
2007 Group exhibition, Australian Embassy, Washington, USA
2007 Treasures of the Spirit – Investing in Aboriginal Art, Tandanya Cultural Institute, Adelaide SA
2007 Annual Group Exhibition, APS Bendi Lango Art Exhibition with Rio Tinto, Fireworks Gallery, Brisbane QLD
2007 New Works from Utopia, Space Gallery, Pittsburg, PA, USA
2008 Utopia Collection2, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA

George Hairbrush Tjungurrayi Artist Profile Picture

George Hairbrush Tjungurrayi


Region: Kintore

Pintupi artist George Hairbrush Tjungurrayi was born c.1947 at the soakwater site Wala Wala near Kiwirrkura in the Gibson Desert region of Western Australia. George Tjungurrayi’s first contact with the non-Aboriginal world occurred when he was seventeen. He began walking from the Gibson Desert towards the settlements on the east of the desert. He was eventually picked up by a patrol truck and arrived at Papunya in 1962.

Later George would act as a guide for Jeremy Long’s welfare patrol that sought to bring in other Pintupi people living on traditional country. Nearly ten years later, while George Hairbrush Tjungurrayi was still living in Papunya, the contemporary desert art movement began to emerge. George was an apprentice to the most senior artists in the Papunya community, including his older brother Willy Tjungurrayi.

It took until 1976 before George Tjungurrayi began to create his own paintings. His method was to use optical linear structures to create the shimmering narrative patterns of the Tingari cycle. These designs associated with Dreaming sites from the artist’s country were pared back and abstracted images that suggest the power and significance of the Tingari stories.

George Hairbrush Tjungurrayi is represented in major collections worldwide and his work chosen as finalist in major awards including the Wynne Prize for landscape painting.

George Tuckerbox Artist Profile Picture

George Tuckerbox


Region: Wangkatjungka

George Tuckerbox is a Wangkatjungka artist who grew up in the Great Sandy Desert and moved north to the Kimberley cattle station country with his family when he was young. George Tuckerbox worked as a stockman in the 1960s and 1970s and eventually settled at Wangkatjungka community, about 120 kms from Fitzroy Crossing.

George Tuckerbox’s paintings reflect the ancestral country of the Great Sandy Desert, country that he travelled across with his family clan when he was a child. George Tuckerbox recreates the waterholes and the journeys that he made, as his family lived the last of the nomadic desert life before moving to the Kimberley.

George Ward Tjungurrayi Artist Profile Picture

George Ward Tjungurrayi


Region: Kintore

George Ward Tjungurrayi was born around 1947 in the Western Desert near the remote West Australian community of Tjukurrla. His father had died when he was young, and it was not until his teenage years that George first met with white settlers. This meeting occurred when a welfare patrol encountered his family group which had camped by a desert waterhole.

George Ward Tjungurrayi later travelled east to the government settlement at Papunya. There he worked as a fencer and a butcher in the community kitchen. He married Nangawarra, and moved to Warburton, then Docker River, Warakurna and finally to the newly established outstation at Kintore.

George Ward Tjungurrayi began painting in the early 1990s at Kintore. In 1998 with the passing of his brother, famous Aboriginal artist Yala Yala Gibbs, a founding member of the Papunya Tula desert art movement, a degree of important cultural responsibility passed across to George. He developed a distinctive painting style with dense parallel line structures marked out with shimmering rows of dotting.

George Ward Tjungurrayi’s large scale works depict the ancestral desert narratives relating to the country west of Kintore and the region around Lake MacDonald. Often the stories describe journeys taken by the Tingari ancestors as they moved through the landscape, transforming into the structures of the landscape.

Japingka Gallery has exhibited George Ward Tjungurrayi’s paintings and the artist’s work has been included in a number of exhibitions including-

2013 Landmarks and Law Grounds: Men of the Desert
2012 Heirs and Successors
2006 Luminaries of the Desert
2004 Travels of the Tingari – New Pintupi Works

A selection of paintings by George Ward Tjungurrayi is available from Japingka Gallery, where collectors can buy Aboriginal art online with certainty of quality, authenticity and provenance of art works.

Reference: The Australian, 20 April 2004, "Going to the source", Nicolas Rothwell

Gloria Petyarre Artist Profile Picture

Gloria Petyarre


Region: Utopia

Gloria Petyarre was born on Utopia in Central Australia around 1945. Her language is Anmatyerre and her country is Atnangkere. Several of Gloria Petyarre's sisters are also well known Aboriginal artists, including Kathleen Petyarre, Nancy Petyarre, Violet Petyarre and Ada Bird.

Gloria was first recognised for her batik work, along with other women artists. Her work is based on the body paint designs for her Dreamings, which include Mountain Devil, Bush Medicine, Aknangkere Growth, and Awelye Dreamings. Her earlier works show the designs painted across bodies. Bush Medicine Dreaming paintings show the leaves of a medicinal shrub, and differing brush strokes depict leaves growing at certain times of the year.

A selection of paintings by Gloria Petyarre are available for sale online from Japingka Gallery: View Gloria Petyarre Paintings

Gracie Morton Pwerle Artist Profile Picture

Gracie Morton Pwerle


Region: Utopia

Gracie Morton Pwerle is an established Utopia artist from Central Australia. Her family consists of many well-known artists including her sisters Gloria Petyarre and Kathleen Petyarre. Gracie began painting along with many other Utopia artists in 1988 for the Summer Project, when the artists who had been working on textiles using batik dying processes first painted on canvas.

This project began a creative outburst of Utopia painters which brought to attention in the art world some of the leading Central Desert artists. Gracie Morton has remained a productive artist for the past 30 years. However during this time she has not gained the same level of artistic recognition as many of the artists she paints alongside.

Gracie Morton Pwerle is a senior custodian for the Bush Plum Dreaming and many of her greatest paintings depict some aspects of the ceremonies and knowledge based around Arnwekety. Gracie has exhibited widely in Australia and internationally. Aboriginal art status – Recognised artist.

Gracie Ward Napaltjarri Artist Profile Picture

Gracie Ward Napaltjarri


Region: Warakurna

Gracie Ward Napaltjarri is amongst the next generation of Western Desert artists who are finding their own distinctive way of expressing cultural stories and traditional beliefs through their art. Gracie learned the skills of painting from her father, reknown artist George Ward Tjungurrayi. Both Gracie’s parents are artists and Gracie learned by assisting them with their painting.

As she set out on her own career Gracie used what she had learned from the Pintupi style of dot painting using just a few colours taken from an earth-based colour scheme. As she progressed in her art career Gracie began using bright colours from the artists selection of painting materials. She emerged after 2010 as a strong painter of desert stories that were illuminated by the brilliant and sometimes harsh light of the desert world.

Today Gracie Ward Napaltjarri has exhibited widely and her success with large canvases or small intimate paintings shows her versatility and skill. Aboriginal art status – Recognised artist.

Gwenda Turner Nungarrrayi Artist Profile Picture

Gwenda Turner Nungarrrayi


Region: Mt Allan

Warlpiri artist Gwenda Turner Nungarrrayi was born at Mt Allan in 1978 and began painting at an early age under the tutelage of her mother Maureen Hudson Nampitjinpa.

Gwenda Turner continues the traditions taught to her by her mother, re-creating the sandhill landscapes of her ancestral lands. Here the cycles and dry seasons followed by big rains, sees the rejuvenation of the country. The fast regrowth of the grass and bushes attracts the native animals back into this country.

Gwenda Turner Nungarrrayi paints this country and provides the sense of strong knowledge of its contours and its significance. Gwenda Turner Nungarrrayi has been painting since 1993 and she exhibits great skill and structural design in her artworks. Gwenda Turner Nungarrrayi exhibited at Japingka Gallery in the exhibition 15x2 - Fifteen Artists in 2015, and more recently has produced some larger works on the sandhills theme. Aboriginal art status - Rising Star.

Hamish Garrgarrku (Karrkarrhba) Artist Profile Picture

Hamish Garrgarrku (Karrkarrhba)


Region: Maningrida

Hamish Garrgarrku (Karrkarrhba) is a senior Maningrida man born in Mankalord country in 1967. His clan is Namundja, his tribal group is Kardham, and his moiety is Yirridjdja. Hamish has previously been recorded as Hamish Karrkarrhba, but following the death of close family, it is now appropriate that his name is recorded as Hamish Garrgarrku.
Hamish Garrgarrku (Karrkarrhba) has been painting and carving cultural items for over 5 years, but will hold his first solo exhibition at Japingka Gallery in 2015. He has carefully selected the bark from the stringybark tree that will be the foundation for the ochre paintings he will produce. And the hollow logs used to create the Lorrkon, the painted hollow logs, are chosen for the spirit of the painting that is found in the essence of the tree log.
Hamish Garrgarrku (Karrkarrhba) paints the clan images that form part of his cultural inheritance. The intricately painted rarrk designs, the cross hatching that is unique to Arnhem Land, are beautifully rendered in his artworks. Aboriginal art status - Rising Star.

Helen McCarthy Artist Profile Picture

Helen McCarthy


Region: Daly River

Helen McCarthy Tyalmuty was born at Tennant Creek in 1972. She spent most of her childhood at Nauiyu Nambiyu Community at Daly River, about 230 kms south of Darwin. Later Helen went to study teaching, completing her degree at Deakin University in 1994. During her time at university Helen's art career began to take shape, and by 1993 she was already involved in her first art festival.

Helen's painting continued to develop after moving into teaching full time, and for ten years she successfully combined a job as a teacher in remote communities with her painting activities. Helen McCarthy Tyalmuty had her first solo exhibition in 2006. In 2007, Helen received the People's Choice Award at the 24th Telstra Aboriginal Art Awards for her painting Tyemeny Liman's Wutinggi (Grandpa Harry's Canoe).

Helen McCarthy Tyalmuty says of her grandfather: "In his day he was the best canoe maker in his country. It's a sad story and a good story at the same time. It's the last canoe that he ever made." Tyalmuty's grandfather stopped making canoes when he heard that education would help his children. He left his country with a heavy heart and sent his children to school on the Cox Peninsula. Helen devotes herself to painting full time and is recognised as one of Australia's most innovative Aboriginal artists. She spends her time in the community at Balgul and with her family in Darwin, where she has a son and four sisters. Aboriginal art status - Highly collectable artist.

Hermannsburg Watercolour Artists Artist Profile Picture

Hermannsburg Watercolour Artists


Region: Alice Springs

The Hermannsburg School of Painters refers to the group of artists who followed after Albert Namatjira, whose watercolour paintings brought the beauty of the West MacDonnell Ranges to the attention of all Australians in the middle of the 20th century. Hermannsburg was Albert Namatjira’s home and the birthplace of several generations of artists who continued the legacy established by Albert.

Jack Britten Artist Profile Picture

Jack Britten


Region: Warmun

Jack Britten (c1921 – 2001) was a senior Gija Lawman and began painting in the 1980s. His signature style consisted of dark lines of hills decorated with traditional body designs, emphasising his ritual seniority. The paintings are a personal interpretation of the landscape of the Bungle Bungles, represented by numerous small round hills.

Jack Dale Mengenen Artist Profile Picture

Jack Dale Mengenen


Region: Mowanjum

Jack Dale Mengenen (c1920- 2013) was born in the bush at Mt House Station, in the west Kimberley. His early life was marked by the experience of conflict between different cultures. Jack's Aboriginal mother, a Ngarinyin woman, tried to keep her son from his violent white father. Jack Dale Senior was a wild Scotsman renowned for his harsh uncompromising character, who once shot his own son in the leg to stop him from running away.

On the death of his father, Jack returned to his maternal family and was brought into traditional Aboriginal Ngarinyin Law by his maternal grandfather. His traditional country is Imanji, located near Mt House Station. Jack went on to lead a remarkable life that bridged both cultures. He was a highly regarded head stockman and bushman, as well as a respected tribal elder and lawman.

Jack Dale Mengenen began painting in the 1990's, working with traditional ochre pigments. He has made large ceremonial boards used by traditional dancers to re-enact Dreaming stories. He has used his extensive cultural knowledge to record aspects of the Wandjina Dreaming sites of his people. He has also recorded his own memories from a long life lived at the frontier of Kimberley life, recalling the historical changes he had witnessed. These have included the arrival of afghan camel drivers, the enforced captivity of aboriginal workers, the conflicts between whites and blacks, the work of missionaries, and other sometimes humorous memories from life in the stock camps.

Jack Dale Mengenen said “That's why I know every Wandjina my grandfather showed me, you can only put your Wandjinas in paintings, nobody else's, that’s all. “

Japingka Gallery has exhibited the work of Jack Dale Mengenen over many years and the artist’s work has been included in a number of exhibitions including-

2011 Jack Dale Mengenen
2007 The Stockman & the Medicine Man: Jack Dale & Bill Whiskey Tjapaltjarri
2006 Jack Dale - A Kimberley History
2004 Jack Dale- Narrungunni Dreamplaces

A selection of paintings by Jack Dale Mengenen is available from Japingka Gallery, where collectors can buy Aboriginal art online with certainty of quality, authenticity and provenance of art works.

Janet Golder Kngwarreye Artist Profile Picture

Janet Golder Kngwarreye


Region: Utopia

Janet Golder Kngwarreye is emerging as a significant painter in the tradition of Anmatyerre painters from the Utopia Homelands. Janet was born in 1973 and began painting as a teenager, learning from the senior women artists from her family group around her. These included her grandmother Polly Ngal and other relatives Angelina Pwerle and Greeny Purvis.

Janet is well known for her works on Bush Yam Leaf, Awelye Body Paint and Bush Plum which is part of her heritage from Polly Ngal. Janet is married to fellow artist Ronnie Bird Jangala. Her paintings depict some of the great stories from Anmatyerre culture. Janet has exhibited works at Japingka in exhibitions in 2016 and 2019.

Jeannie Mills Pwerle Artist Profile Picture

Jeannie Mills Pwerle


Region: Utopia

Jeannie Mills Pwerle is one of the large group of innovative women artists of the Utopia Homelands, located about 270 kms from Alice Springs. Jeannie Mills Pwerle is from the Alyawarr language group, and is the daughter of well known Utopia artist Dolly Mills Petyarre. Jeannie is also the niece of senior artist Greeny Purvis Petyarre.

Jeannie Mills Pwerle paints images of the bush yam, Anaty, also known as the Pencil Yam. The Anaty (Desert Yam or Bush Potato, Ipomoea costata) Dreaming story comes from Jeannie’s father’s country, Irrwelty, which is Alyawarr country.

In her paintings Jeannie Mills Pwerle represents the tuber of the yam, which the women dig from the soft sands around the river banks or in open country. When the yams are in season, the women can collect a large billy can full of tubers in a short time. The Yam plant grows as a vine or shrub which makes pink flowers after summer rains. Jeannie Mills Pwerle paints the tiny seeds of the yam flower which surround the yam tuber in her paintings.

Jeannie Mills Pwerle participated in theColours of Utopia’ exhibition at Japingka Gallery in 2006, and has been a regular contributing artist since then. Jeannie Mills Pwerle is represented in major national collections including in the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra and the Holmes à Court Collection in Perth. Aboriginal art status – Established artist.

Jeannie Petyarre Artist Profile Picture

Jeannie Petyarre


Region: Utopia

Artist Jeannie Petyarre was involved in the community projects at Utopia in the late 1970’s when the traditional owners were preparing a land claim for their ancestral lands.

The project involved all the women making batik silk textiles that told of their cultural stories. The result “Utopia: A Picture Story” launched the Utopia women artists, with the entire collection comprising 88 silk batiks being acquired by the Holmes a Court Collection. This collection subsequently toured Australia and internationally and established the reputation of the Utopia artists.

Jeannie Petyarre’s artwork represents her traditional homelands at Alhalkere. In 1989 Jeannie was involved in “A Summer Project”, where the women artists produced their first paintings on canvas. Jeannie focused on the subject of Yam Dreaming, a significant Women’s Dreaming story that is most strongly identified with the work of Emily Kame Kngwarreye.

In the Yam Dreaming Jeannie Petyarre typically represents the different stages of the growth cycle of the plant, showing the seasonal changes in the seeds, the leaves and the flowers. Jeannie also paints Awelye, or the Women’s Ceremony and the associated body paint designs that relate to the ceremony.

Jeannie Petyarre has contributed artworks to international touring exhibitions that have been presented in Australia, China, Italy, France, USA and the Middle East.

Jill Jack Artist Profile Picture

Jill Jack


Region: Wangkatjungka

Wangkatjungka artist Jill Jack paints elements of her family’s traditional desert country, through knowledge of the stories that she inherited from her parents. Jill Jack was born in the Fitzroy Valley, at Christmas Creek station, in 1955. Her parents, from Walmajarri and Wangkatjungka groups, were part of the desert exodus that saw people move north towards the cattle station country during the 1940s.

Jill Jack often paints the waterholes and country belonging to her mother’s people, using strong colours representing desert landscape and vegetation. Jill Jack is part of the distinctive artist group located at Wangkatjungka community, south-east of Fitzroy Crossing.

Jimmy Pike Artist Profile Picture

Jimmy Pike


Region: Fitzroy Crossing

Jimmy Pike (c1940 - 2002) was born in the Great Sandy Desert south of the Fitzroy River Valley region in Western Australia. He was a member of the Walmajarri people, and his clan was one of the last Aboriginal groups to leave the desert to settle on the cattle station country in the Kimberley during the 1950s. His childhood was spent in a nomadic lifestyle, moving with his family between the various waterholes that were the focal points of their arid country. This country with its ancient culture and symbols were to become the source that inspired Jimmy Pike’s paintings later in life.

Jimmy Pike’s paintings from the 1980s and 1990s showed the physical and spiritual quality of his traditional Walmajarri country, and added a new dynamism to the central positions of landscape in Australian art. The artist's themes of the intricacies of desert landscape, the visual character of the changing seasons and the particularities of its Aboriginal spirituality have transformed this extremely isolated area of the northern part of Australia into a tangible experience. Jimmy Pike is represented in the collections of major Australian public galleries and museums.

"My work is painting and drawing, telling stories from the Dreamtime and about places where Dreamtime people travelled through my country. They set down the Law for real people today, wherever they are. Thats what I paint"

Jock Mosquito Artist Profile Picture

Jock Mosquito


Region: Warmun

Jock Mosquito (1944-2017) is a senior ochre artist of the East Kimberley, who was born at Nicholson Station. Jock Mosquito was involved with the Turkey Creek artists who developed the style of ochre painting from Warmun, that evolved from the ceremonial dance boards in the 1970s.

Jock Mosquito remained a committed community figure late into his life, and made his paintings alongside his other social duties. In 2005 Jock Mosquito had a stroke that forced him to adapt his painting style to a more minimal style, and his powerful ochre paintings from the following years were grand statements of his life’s journey.

Jorna Newberry Artist Profile Picture

Jorna Newberry


Region: Alice Springs

Jorna Newberry paints the colourful and abstracted images of the Wind Dreaming story associated with ceremonies held on her traditional country around the tri-state border country between Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory.

Jorna Newberry learned much of her artistic skills from her uncle, the famous Pitjantjatjara artist Tommy Watson. Jorna Newberry uses the vibrant reds and purples that are familiar from the artwork of Tommy Watson, but gives her own work a swirling and more ethereal feeling from the fine dot painting and delicate lines.

Joylene Reid Napangardi Artist Profile Picture

Joylene Reid Napangardi


Region: Kintore

Joylene Reid Napangardi is a Pintupi artist from Kintore in the Western Desert. Joylene is the daughter of the artist Walangkura Napurrula and was born in Papunya in 1971. Joylene Reid Napangardi grew up at Ikuntji community at Haasts Bluff and later moved to Tjukurla community and later to Kintore (Walungurru).

Joylene Reid Napangardi paints the stories and designs associated with the Women’s Tingari Ceremonies of the Western Desert. The Tingari ceremonies remain at the heart of Pintupi Law and culture. Joylene Reid Napangardi uses these traditional elements to give the meaning and structure to her paintings. In 2012 Joylene Reid Napangardi participated in the exhibition “Desert Gold” at Japingka Gallery in Fremantle. Joylene Reid Napangardi – is also recorded as Joyleen Napangardi Reid and Joyleen Napangati Reid

Judy Napangardi Martin Artist Profile Picture

Judy Napangardi Martin


Region: Lajamunu

Judy Napangardi Martin is a Warlpiri artists from Lajamanu community in the Tanami Desert. Judy Napangardi Martin was born around 1940, the daughter of Lorna Napurrula Fencer, and grew up in Lajamanu. Judy has inherited many of the stories that Lorna Napurrula Fencer painted, including the Yarla Bush Yam, as well as Wallaby and Bush Tomato Dreaming images.

Judy Napangardi Martin is an active participant in the women’s cultural events at Lajamanu, and carries on some of the heritage of her mother’s contributions.

Judy Napangardi Watson Artist Profile Picture

Judy Napangardi Watson


Region: Yuendumu

Judy Napangardi Watson (c1935 – 2016) was born at Yarungkanji, Mt Doreen Station at the time when many Warlpiri and other Central Desert Aboriginal people were living a traditional nomadic lifestyle. With her family Judy Napangardi made many trips on foot to her country and lived for long periods at Mina Mina and Yingipurlangu, her ancestral country on the border of the Tanami and Gibson Deserts. These places are rich in bush tucker such as wanakiji, bush plums, yakajirri, bush tomatoes, and wardapi, sand goanna. Judy Watson remained a keen participant on regular hunting trips in the country west of Yuendumu, near her homelands.

Judy Watson Napangardi was taught painting by her elder sister, famous Aboriginal artist Maggie Napangardi Watson. She painted alongside her at Warlukurlangu Art centre for a number of years, developing her own unique style.

Though a tiny woman Judy Watson had ten children and remained a woman of great energy into her later years. This is transmitted to her work through her dynamic use of colour, and energetic ‘dragged dotting’ style. Judy Watson has been at the forefront of a move towards more abstract rendering of Jukurrpa by Warlpiri artists, however her work retains strong kurruwarri, the details which tell of the sacredness of place and song in Aboriginal culture.

Paintings by Judy Napangardi Watson have been regularly represented in exhibitions at Japingka Gallery including-

2013 Artists at Nyirripi & Yuendumu
2012 Heirs and Successors
2009 Nyirripi and Yuendumu Artists
2008 Artists of Nyirripi & Yuendumu
2006 Warlpiri Artists of Yuendumu
1998 Kakarra Manu Kalarra - Warlpiri Artists

A selection of paintings by Judy Napangardi Watson is available from Japingka Gallery, where collectors can buy Aboriginal art online with certainty of quality, authenticity and provenance of art works.

Julie Nangala Robertson Artist Profile Picture

Julie Nangala Robertson


Region: Yuendumu

Julie Nangala Robertson is the eldest of five daughters of the highly esteemed Warlpiri artist Dorothy Napangardi (1952–2013). Julie lives with her family at Yuendumu, about 280 kms north-west of Alice Springs. The traditional country for Julie includes the Mina Mina Women’s Dreaming site and Pirlinyanu, a Water Dreaming site.

Julie Nangala Robertson grew up alongside such renowned artists as Eunice Napangardi, Polly Napangardi Watson and, of course, her mother Dorothy Napangardi. Julie often sat alongside these artists as they painted. Julie Nangala began painting in the late 1990s and, while still using traditional dot patterning, she has experimented with painting styles and developed a refined visual language of her own.

Julie Nangala Robertson paints graphically minimal and contemporary designs of her country Pirlinyanu, an area of rocky outcrops, with both permanent and seasonal water sources. Her paintings express topographical and seasonal features associated with her country; patterns of falling rain, clouds in the sky, water holes and salt traces across the surface of the ground. Her name has often been incorrectly recorded as Julie Nangala Robinson, due to the inaccurate recording of her mother’s name. Aboriginal art status – Established artist.

Selected Exhibitions

2011 In Black and White, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA
2012 Heirs and Successors, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA
2012 Recent Work, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA
2013 Nyirripi and Yuendumu Artists, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA

June Peters Artist Profile Picture

June Peters


Region: Utopia

June Peters is an accomplished Warmun artist who works in the traditional ochre style of the East Kimberley. June Peters was born on Texas Downs Station in 1962. After June’s parents died, she was taken into the family of senior ochre artist Madigan Thomas and her husband Sandy Thomas. June Peters started learning the skills of ochre painting from Lena Nyadbi, who played a major role in teaching younger artists about both traditional Gidja (also spelt Kitja) culture and painting.

Through her extended family June Peters has access to the stories and knowledge of large expanses of Gidja country, including Purnululu (Bungles) and Doon Doon. June Peters has inherited access to this part of her culture through her aunties and uncles, which provides her with a broad sweep of subject matter for her paintings.

June Peters has travelled extensively through her ancestral country, so her paintings have a degree of precision and authenticity that comes with the knowledge of country. June remains fastidious about the representations of Kitja Dreaming stories in her paintings. June Peters paints in the typical Warmun style, using thick, crusty ochre, but also manages to create fine and detailed imagery using a minimal palette. June Peters began exhibiting at Japingka Gallery in 2007 when she exhibited in the group show East Kimberley Ochre Painters. Aboriginal art status - Mid career artist.

Katherine Marshall Nakamarra Artist Profile Picture

Katherine Marshall Nakamarra


Region: Kintore

Katherine Marshall Nakamarra was born at Papunya in 1968, the daughter of Walangkura Napanangka and Johnny Yungut Tjupurrula. Katherine Marshall Nakamarra began painting in 1986, and carries on the strong tradition set by her mother Walangkura, using bold iconography and thickly painted fields of dots to construct her paintings. Katherine Marshall Nakamarra paints the important Women’s ceremonial sites around Kintore, including the significant story sites at Muruntji and Tjintjintjin. Katherine Marshall Nakamarra held a solo exhibition of her work at Japingka Gallery in 2011 and has exhibited in other group exhibitions.

Kerry Madawyn McCarthy Artist Profile Picture

Kerry Madawyn McCarthy


Region: Daly River

Kerry Madawyn McCarthy was born at Daly River in 1975. The daughter of an Irish father and Aboriginal mother, and sister of well known artist, Helen McCarthy Tyalmuty, Kerry Madawyn McCarthy was brought up in the Daly River community learning the ways of non-indigenous society, while maintaining a deep respect for and understanding of Aboriginal laws and traditions of her country.

After moving to Darwin in 1985 and completing her schooling, Kerry moved back to the Daly River where she worked in various jobs. In 1994, at the suggestion of her aunt, Kerry started to paint. Originally Kerry pursued the traditional style of Aboriginal artists of the area, which focuses on depictions of animals and plants. However, following completion of her education at Bachelor Institute of Advanced Education, Kerry Madawyn 's style changed to include subjects more widely associated with Aboriginal tradition. This change was also influenced by her grandfather and by her spending two years in the bush at her mother's home country at Bulgul.

Kerry Madawyn McCarthy is both innovative and precise in her work, continually exploring new means of expression of her stories of life and tradition from Aboriginal lands in the Top End. Kerry Madawyn McCarthy spends her time with her children between homes in Bulgul and Darwin.

Kim Butler Napurrula Artist Profile Picture

Kim Butler Napurrula


Region: Kiwirrkura

Kim Butler Napurrula (1971-2017) is a Pintupi artist who lives between Alice Springs in Central Australia and Kiwirrkura on the Western Australian side of the Central Desert. Her family has a strong association with the Desert art movement. Kim Butler Napurrula is the daughter of Anatjari Tjakamarra, one of the founding members and senior artists of the emergent Papunya Tula artist group of the 1970s. The family group left the desert in 1966 and walked into the small settlement at Papunya, to join other countrymen who had been moving from the desert to the settlements over the previous twenty five years. Kim Butler Napurrula is the daughter of Katarra Butler Napaltjarri, the second wife of Antjari Tjakamarra. Kim Butler was born probably in the Papunya region in 1971.

Kim Butler Napurrula uses the traditional iconography of the Desert artists to depict the important country of her clan group. These lands run along the Western Australian border country between Kintore and Kiwirrkura. Kim Butler’s paintings focus on the significant Women’s Dreaming sites located throughout this country and the ceremonies associated with those sites. The imagery refers to the ritual processes undertaken by the women including body painting, dancing and singing, as well as their relationship to local food gathering and water sources.

Kim Butler Napurrula generally uses a palette of earth colours that reflect the traditional content of her imagery, the ochres used in ceremonies and the structure of the surrounding country. Aboriginal art status – Established artist.

Kudditji Kngwarreye Artist Profile Picture

Kudditji Kngwarreye


Region: Utopia

Kudditji Kngwarreye (c1928-2017) was born at Alhalkere at Utopia Station, located about 270 kms north east of Alice Springs. His language is Eastern Anmatyerre. He is the younger brother of the renowned Aboriginal artist Emily Kame Kngwarreye, and he began painting in the early 1980's.

Kudditji Kngwarreye is a custodian for ceremonial sites located on his country on the Utopia homelands, and many of his paintings refer to sites at Boundary Bore, where men's initiation ceremonies are performed.

Today Kudditji mainly paints Emu Dreaming, for which he is cultural custodian, and Men's Ceremonial Dreamings from Boundary Bore. Kudditji Kngwarreye is represented in major national and international collections and has gained worldwide recognition for his powerful interpretations of his ancestral Dreamings.

Selected paintings by Kudditji Kngwarreye's are available from Japingka Gallery:

Kurun Warun  Artist Profile Picture

Kurun Warun


Region: Murray River

Kurun Warun was born in Victoria at Healesville in 1966. His mother was of Gunditjmara descent from the Western District Lakes region of Victoria. Kurun Warun learnt painting and music from an early age from his mother, but was also trained as a boxer from his father’s Italian side of the family.

Kurun Warun takes the name given by his great uncle from Mortlake area, a name which means Hissing Swan. Today Kurun Warun lives and works in the Noosa hinterland of south east Queensland, having created an international reputation as an artist and musician. His skill as a didgeridoo player has seen him perform around Australia, in Italy and Korea, and he participated at the ceremonies for the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Kurun Warun continues the great Aboriginal tradition of telling stories of the people and their environment, how they lived in their country and managed its resources. Kurun Warun refers to his work as “living culture – our story”. His paintings use bold colour to represent the elements of the natural worls and Aboriginal traditional life. Aboriginal art status - Mid career artist.

Lanita Numina Napanangka Artist Profile Picture

Lanita Numina Napanangka


Region: Utopia

Lanita Numina Napanangka is an Anmatyerre artist from Central Australia. She is part of the successful artistic group of artists from the Utopia region to the north east of Alice Springs. Lanita was born on Stirling Station in 1965 and has pursued a painting career while living in Darwin in the Northern Territory.

Lanita Numina was taught her painting skills by her mother Barbara Mbitjana and by her famous aunts, Gloria Petyarre and Kathleen Petyarre. Lanita shares her painting skills with her four sisters who are all talented artists.

Lanita Numina Napanangka paints the traditional women’s stories from her desert homelands, stories which reflect aspects of everyday living and ceremonial customs. Many of these customs revolve around knowledge of food resources including all aspects of bush tucker. The active role of women in maintaining the ceremonies and knowledge of the ecology of this country has provided a broad sweep of subject matter for their paintings.

Lanita Numina has had her artworks collected by a wide range of buyers, both Australia-wide and internationally. Aboriginal art status – Recognised artist.

Lily Karadada (Karedada) Artist Profile Picture

Lily Karadada (Karedada)


Region: Kalumburu

Lily Karadada (also spelt Karedada) was born in the Prince Regent River area on the Mitchell Plateau, on the north west area of the Kimberley coast of Western Australia. Her parents were Wunumbal language group, and Lily's birthplace was Wumbango Wangurr in her Father's country, where images of the Wandjina and Bradshaw figures are found at significant sites and rock shelters. Lily was born in the bush next to a spring, and so her father named her Mindindel, which means 'bubbles' .

At the time of the second World War, the young Lily and husband Jack, had made the long walk to the mission settlement at Kalumburu, which was coming under bombing attack by the Japanese. So they lived in a cave for many months on the outskirts, before finally settling back into the mission community.

Lily Karadada specializes in painting the Wandjina spirit with various totems including rain storm (dotting depicting rain generated by the Wandjina), lightning, turtle, owl nightjar and cave springwater. A dotted ground is also characteristic of Lily's depictions of totemic species and the natural features of her country. Lily Karadada has lived all her life at Kalumburu with her large extended family, who are amongst the most consistent and longest practising Aboriginal artists from this region.

Lily Kelly Napangardi Artist Profile Picture

Lily Kelly Napangardi


Region: Mount Liebig

Lily Kelly Napangardi is a senior artist and law woman from Mt Liebig community, 325 kms north-west of Alice Springs. Lily Kelly Napangardi was born at Haasts Bluff in 1948 and moved with her family to the newly established settlement at Papunya in the 1960s. After the steady growth of the Desert Painting movement at Papunya during the 1970s and 1980s, Lily became involved in painting, helping her husband Norman Kelly with his paintings. Lily Kelly Napangardi returned to Mt Liebig with her husband in the early 1980s.

Lily Kelly Napangardi began making her own paintings in the early 1980s, winning the Northern Territory Art Award for painting in 1986. Lily Kelly Napangardi has custodial rights for the Women's Dreaming story associated with Kunajarrayi. Lily’s subjects include her country's sandhills, its winds and the desert environment after rain, especially the sandhills of the Kintore and Coniston areas. Lily Kelly Napangardi’s paintings often refer to the seasonal changes in this sandhill country, and sometimes mark the crucial waterholes found there. Aboriginal art status - Highly regarded artist.

Linda Syddick Napaltjarri Artist Profile Picture

Linda Syddick Napaltjarri


Region: Kintore

Linda Syddick Napaltjarri is a Pintupi Aboriginal artist who was born at Lake MacKay in the Gibson Desert, WA, in 1937. Her Aboriginal name is Tjunkiya Wukula Napaltjarri. Linda was raised in the traditional nomadic fashion until the age of eight or nine, when her family walked out of the desert and decided to settle at the Lutheran Mission at Haasts Bluff in Central Australia.

Linda Napaltjarri's paintings are inspired by both her traditional nomadic life in the desert, and the Dreamings of her father and step-father. Linda's father was Rintje Tjungurrayi who was killed by a revenge spearing party when Linda was about eighteen months old. Linda Syddick Napaltjarri was subsequently brought up by her stepfather, renowned Aboriginal artist Lankata Shorty Tjungurrayi. Before Shorty Lankata died in 1985, he instructed Linda to carry on his work and paint his Dreamings. And so it was that in 1986 Linda Syddick Napaltjarri was taught the art of painting by her two Uncles Uta Uta Tjangala and Nosepeg Tjupurrula.

Linda Syddick Napaltjarri often paints the Dreaming story of the Tingari and the Emu Men. The Emu Men were ancestral beings who roamed the landscape during the Dreamtime or Creation Period. Linda paints country mostly around Lake MacKay, which has been central to the cultural and spiritual life of the Aboriginal people for thousands of years. Lake MacKay was where Linda was born and travelled for most of her early childhood.

Linda Syddick Napaltjarri’s paintings by have been represented in many exhibitions at Japingka Gallery including-

2012 Desert Gold
2008 Linda Syddick Napaltjarri
2007 Linda Syddick - Paintings
2005 Linda Syddick - Paintings

A selection of paintings by Linda Syddick Napaltjarri is available from Japingka Gallery, where collectors can buy Aboriginal art online with certainty of quality, authenticity and provenance of art works.

Long Jack Phillipus Artist Profile Picture

Long Jack Phillipus


Region: Mt Allan

Long Jack Phillipus Tjakamarra was born around 1932 at the important Rain Dreaming site of Kalipinypa, north-east of Kintore, and grew up in the bush west of Mt Farewell. His father was Warlpiri and his mother was Warlpiri/Luritja.

Long Jack Phillipus, whose name reflects his unusually tall stature, came into the white settlements created around the edges of the desert, when, at the death of his mother, the family group decided to move to Haasts Bluff. At this time Long Jack was a teenager and the desert was being de-populated through the late 1950s, as more family groups moved towards the settlements east of their traditional lands.

When Papunya was established in 1959 Long Jack Phillipus moved there, and became a formative member of the Desert painting movement. Long Jack began painting as early as 1970, and was one of Bardon’s original group of ‘painting men’. Geoffrey Bardon described Long Jack as a tall man, of ‘fine bearing’. Previously Long Jack Phillipus had worked as a stockman and after he settled at Papunya, he worked as a school yardman and community councilor.

Long Jack Phillipus was selected with Billy Stockman Tjapaltjarri and Kaapa Tjampitjinpa to paint the famous Honey Ant Dreaming mural on the school wall. This was the first ever project done on a public building in Papunya and was the impetus that started of the desert Aboriginal Art movement that formed into the Papunya Tula entity. Aboriginal art status - Highly regarded artist.

Lorna Napurrula Fencer Artist Profile Picture

Lorna Napurrula Fencer


Region: Lajamanu

Lorna Napurrula Fencer (c1923- 2006) was a senior Warlpiri Aboriginal artist, born at Yartulu Yartulu, and custodian of inherited lands of Yumurrpa, situated near Chilla Well, south of the Granites Mine area in the Tanami Desert. In 1949 many of the Warlpiri people, including Lorna Napurrula were forcibly transported to the government settlement of Lajamanu at Hookers Creek, situated in the country of the Gurindji people, 250 miles to the north of their own country around Yuendumu. Napurrula nevertheless maintained and strengthened her cultural identity through ceremonial activity and art, and asserted her position as a prominent elder and teacher in the community.

The travels of Napurrula and Nakamarrra kinship or skin groups are the inspiration for Lorna Napurrula's work, and she was a custodian of the Dreamings associated with bush potato (yarla), caterpillar (luju), bush onion, yam, bush tomato, bush plum, many different seeds, and (importantly) water. Lorna Napurrula Fencer began her painting career in the mid 1980s.

The passing of this major Aboriginal artist Lorna Napurrula Fencer in 2006 marked the end of a breathtaking flourish of artistic output in the seventh and eighth decades of the artist’s life. The artists is represented in the Australian National Gallery, National Gallery of Victoria, other State Galleries and major private collections.

Japingka Gallery has exhibited the work of Lorna Napurrula Fencer over many years and the artist’s work has been included in a number of exhibitions including-

2012 The Colourists: Kudditji Kngwarreye & Lorna Napurrula Fencer
2012 Heirs and Successors
2008 Women’s Law
2006 Luminaries of the Desert
2003 Lorna Napurrula Fencer –New Paintings
2002 Lorna Napurrula Fencer - Paintings from the Tanami Desert
2001 Little Gems
2000 Artists of Lajamanu, Tanami Desert
1999 Paintings from Lajamanu Community

A selection of paintings by Lorna Napurrula Fencer is available from Japingka Gallery, where collectors can buy Aboriginal art online with certainty of quality, authenticity and provenance of art works.

Lorna Ward Napanangka Artist Profile Picture

Lorna Ward Napanangka


Region: Kintore

Lorna Ward Napanangka was born at Papunya around 1961 and is the daughter of famous artist Timmy Payungka Tjapangati, who was one of the first generation artists of the Desert Aboriginal Art movement. Lorna Ward Napanangka began painting at Kintore in 1996 and often paints the traditional ceremonial site of Marrapinti.

Lorna Ward Napanangka painted on the the Kiwirrkura Women's painting, the collaborative artwork created in 1999 to contribute to the Western Desert Dialysis Appeal. Lorna Ward Napanangka often travelled between the desert communities of Kiwirrkurra and Kintore when she was visiting relatives. Lorna Ward Napanangka has four sons and two daughters.

In 2000 Lorna Ward Napanangka began exhibiting her paintings and she held solo exhibitions in 2001 and 2004. She was a finalist in the 2002 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards in Darwin. Lorna Ward Napanangka has developed some refined styles of dot painting and varies her approaches to different subjects.

Maisie Campbell Napaltjarri Artist Profile Picture

Maisie Campbell Napaltjarri


Region: Kintore

Maisie Campbell Napaltjarri is a Pintupi Aboriginal artist, born in 1958 near Haasts Bluff (Ikuntji). She grew up at Papunya and attended school there, and later moved west to the community of Kintore on the Western Australian - Northern Territory border. She married Barney Campbell Tjakamarra (1928- 2007), a senior Pintupi lawman and painter of the Tingari cycle from the Lake MacDonald region, and has two daughters.

Maisie Campbell Napaltjarri began painting in the early 1990s, initially by helping her husband with his work. The family had to relocate to Alice Springs where Barney received treatment at the Dialysis Unit. Maisie lived in Alice Springs for many years with family, but has now moved back to her community at Kintore.

Maisie Napaltjarri’s father was a Ngaatjatjarra speaker and her mother a Luritja speaker. Maisie often paints her father’s country at Warmarrungle near Kaarku. The major themes represented in Maisie’s paintings are the sacred rockholes and significant women's ceremonies, referred to as minyma inmaku, that take place in the Western Desert between Kintore in the Northern Territory and Kiwirrkurra in Western Australia. Maisie’s ability to produce traditional designs associated with creation stories demonstrates her commitment to preserving these highly important elements of aboriginal culture.

Maisie Campbell Napaltjarri has had paintings included in many exhibitions at Japingka Gallery including-

2013 Jorna Newberry & Maisie Campbell Napaltjarri
2009 Watiyawanu Artists
2006 Towards Black and White

A selection of works by Maisie Campbell Napaltjarri is available from Japingka Gallery, where collectors can buy Aboriginal art online with certainty of quality, authenticity and provenance of art works.

Maisie Ward Nungurrayi Artist Profile Picture

Maisie Ward Nungurrayi


Region: Kintore

Maisie Ward Nungurrayi is the younger generation of Desert artist following in the footsteps of their well known artist forebears. Maisie Ward Nungurrayi was born in 1975 at Papunya when the fledgling Desert Art movement was emerging in the community. Then in 1982 when the new settlement at Kintore was opened closer to her ancestral country, the family moved there.

Maisie Ward Nungurrayi says she was told by her father, Dr George Ward Tjapaltjarri, to follow on from his own painting, that she was to paint about his country. Maisie also paints from her mother’s country of Kulkuta near Tjukurla, close to the Western Australian border. Maisie Ward Nungurrayi is connected to some of the best known artistic names of the Western Desert region including George Ward Tjungurrayi, Yala Yala Gibbs and Pulpurra Davies. Aboriginal art status – Emerging artist.

Makinti Napanangka Artist Profile Picture

Makinti Napanangka


Region: Kintore

Makinti Napanangka (1932- 2011) was a senior Pintupi Aboriginal artist, who lived at Kintore Community and in her final years in Alice Springs. Makinti began painting in 1995 as a member of the Haasts Bluff - Kintore painting project conducted at Kintore. Makinti quickly developed her own style and maintained her individual look throughout, painting continuously from 1995, aside from an enforced break due to a cataract operation in 1998.

Makinti Napanangka 's paintings are often the stories of the Kungka Kutjarra (Two Women), Ancestor figures whose travels cover great distances from Pitjantjajara country, then north east through to and beyond Haasts Bluff and Papunya. Such journeys include numerous ceremonial sites, ceremonial activities and food gathering.

Makinti's images often comprise hairstring skirts, these skirts are woven by the women from human hair using a simple spindle made of two sticks, and belts worn by women in ceremonies. Makinti did not concern herself with neatness, or the painstaking 'dot by dot' approach. Her bands of lines can form into arcs, and create patterns that twist and bend. She is very different from all her Aboriginal art contemporaries. Makinti Napanangka's work is represented in major public and private collections.

Japingka Gallery has exhibited the work of Makinti Napanangka over a number of years including the exhibitions -

2008 Women’s Law
2006 Luminaries of the Desert
2005 Across Skin-Women Artists of the Western Desert

A selection of paintings by Makinti Napanangka is available from Japingka Gallery.

Marcia Purdie Artist Profile Picture

Marcia Purdie


Region: Warmun

Marcia Purdie is a younger generation ochre artists from the East Kimberley. She was born in Derby in 1971 and grew up in Halls Creek and Wyndham, before later moving to Warmun and Kununnurra. Marcia Purdie’s father, Harold Rivers, was Chairperson of Whataguttabe community, located on excised land from Lansdowne Station. The stories and the country from Lansdowne form a large part of subject matter of Marcia Purdie’s paintings.
Marcia married to Dallas Purdie, the son of senior Warmun artist Shirley Purdie. The family lived in Warmun with their five children. While living in Warmun, Marcia Purdie built on her knowledge of the the Ngarrangkarni Dreaming stories of her Kitja Elders from Shirley Purdie and Shirley’s mother, the legendary Madigan Thomas.

Marcia Purdie is well educated and has been involved with Community affairs and management. Marcia Purdie has a natural artistic talent which was nurtured by the elder artists at Warmun. Marcia has maintained a strong pride in her painting technique and individual artistic style. At one point Marcia ceased painting for an extended time. Marcia Purdie is once again employing her meticulous approach to painting and is producing strong artworks. Marcia Purdie held her first solo exhibition in 2001, and participated in a number of group exhibitions of Warmun artists up until 2005. Aboriginal art status - Mid career artist.

Margaret Lewis Napangardi Artist Profile Picture

Margaret Lewis Napangardi


Region: Yuendumu

Margaret Lewis Napangardi was born in 1952 at Mt Doreen Station in Central Australia and grew up with her two brothers and three sisters around Nyrippi outstation in the Simpson Desert. Margaret Lewis Napangardi was taught painting by her father, Paddy Japanangka Lewis, who was a prominent Yuendumu artist. In 1978 Margaret Lewis Napangardi participated with other Yuendumu women in learning the art of batik-making. Since that time Margaret Lewis Napangardi has developed her painting in a number of differing directions which relate to her inherited Dreaming stories.

Margaret Lewis Napangardi is the sister of the late Dorothy Napangardi Robertson and the mother of artist and musician Gordon Robertson Jangala. Margaret Lewis Napangardi remains an artist who likes to constantly experiment with various painting styles to express her traditional stories.

Marlene Harold Artist Profile Picture

Marlene Harold


Region: Yinjaa Barni

Pilbara artist Marlene Harold was born in 1954 in the Millstream Tablelands at Mt Florence Station. Her family were later moved to the coastal town of Roebourne, south of Port Hedland. In 2006 Marlene Harold began painting with other artists at Yinjaa-Barni art centre in Roebourne.

Marlene Harold developed a style of multi- layered dots that evoke the Creation stories of her traditional country, when the natural world was first being formed from water and mist.

Her paintings share the quality the impressionist artists, where many different paint marks are used to create a shifting surface of colour. Marlene Harold has exhibited at Japingka Gallery each year since 2009 with fellow Yinjaa-Barni artists.

Marlene Young Nungurrayi Artist Profile Picture

Marlene Young Nungurrayi


Region: Tjukurla

Pintupi artist Marlene Young Nungurrayi comes from a strong lineage of painters connected with the border country between Western Australia and Northern Territory. Her family moved freely across this region and her ancestral country includes her father’s country in Western Australia and her mother’s country into Northern Territory. Marlene Young Nungurrayi eventually settled in Tjukurla and now has children and grandchildren living there.

Marlene Young Nungurrayi paints aspects of Minyma Tjukurrpa- the Women’s Dreaming from her mother’s country. Marlene’s artistic family includes her father Tommy Lowry Tjapaltjarri, her uncle Doctor George Tjapaltjarri, and her mother Janie Ward Nakamarra. Marlene’s recent paintings show the fine detail and rich iconography based on the great Tingari narratives that took place on her ancestral homelands.

Group Exhibitions

2006 Towards Black and White, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA
2012 Desert Gold, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA
2015 Sixteen Artists – 16 x 2, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA

Mary McLean Artist Profile Picture

Mary McLean


Region: Docker River

Pantjiti Mary McLean’s artistic career began in 1992, and she was soon represented in every important public and private collection in Australia. Mary McLean won the 1995 Telstra National Aboriginal Art Award and was the commissioned artist for the 1996 Festival of Perth. Mary McLean’s work has been exhibited internationally, including in a special retrospective at Australia House in London in 1995.

Mary McLean’s individual style of painting was born at a street art project in 1992, run by artist Nalda Searles at Kalgoorlie for people from Ninga Mia and other fringe camp communities. The project aim was for Aboriginal people to express themselves in their paintings as a reinforcement of cultural values.

Mary McLean’s paintings and prints are everyday narratives that evoke the life of her early childhood with energy and abundance: men hunting, women and kids collecting bush tucker or running free and family life around the camp. The secular and the sacred are totally enmeshed in her images. The irresistible humour and humanity of Pantjiti Mary McLean’s works have brought her popularity with an audience that extends far beyond the gallery. There is a powerful affirmation of life in her paintings and her unique style has guaranteed her a strong buying public.

Maureen Hudson Nampijinpa Artist Profile Picture

Maureen Hudson Nampijinpa


Region: Mt Allan

Maureen Hudson Nampijinpa is a Warlpiri Aboriginal artist, born in 1959 at Mt Allan, about 300 kms north of Alice Springs. She began painting in 1988. Maureen Hudson Nampijinpa's paintings draw on traditional Warlpiri Dreaming stories, and incorporate her own distinctive sense of colour and innovation of design. Maureen's passion in life is painting, and this shows in the diversity of style and high quality that she produces. Maureen Nampijinpa Hudson is very family orientated, and enjoys sitting and painting with her children.

Maureen Hudson Nampijinpa resides in Adelaide but frequently visits family and friends in Mount Allan and Alice Springs. In recent years Maureen Hudson Nampijinpa has been working as an Artist in Residence at Yulara (Uluru) for four week periods.

Michelle Possum Nungurrayi Artist Profile Picture

Michelle Possum Nungurrayi


Region: Mt Allan

Michelle Possum Nungurrayi is a highly recognised central Desert artist who first exhibited in 1987 while still a teenager. Michelle learned her skills from her father, renowned Papunya Tula artist Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri (1932-2002). Michelle has inherited stories from the women’s side of her family and adapted the technical influences of her father to create her own style.

Her paintings are lively interpretations of the Country filled with plants and flowering shrubs, with cultural sites and representations of people and activities scattered through the lands. She shows groups of women searching for food resources and man with hunting weapons. The paintings read as aerial maps showing all the activities that are found on traditional Aboriginal lands. Michelle Possum has six children and has been a painter for over thirty years.

Minnie Pwerle Artist Profile Picture

Minnie Pwerle


Region: Utopia

Minnie Pwerle (c1910 – 2006), a prolific and expressive Aboriginal artist, was born on the Utopia homelands, about 250 kms north-east of Alice Springs. Her country is Atnwengerrp and her language is Anmatyerre and Alyawarr. Minnie Pwerle made her first paintings at Utopia Community in September 1999 when she was in her late 80's.

The artist's main Dreamings are "Awelye-Atnwengerrp" (Women's Dreaming), "Bush Melon", and "Bush Melon Seed". These convey her love and respect for the land and the food it provides to the people. "Awelye-Atnwengerrp" is depicted as a series of lines painted in different widths and colours. This pattern represents the lines painted on the top half of the women's bodies during ceremonies in their country of Atnwengerrp.

"Bush Melon" is depicted using a linear design of curves, circles, and breast designs in different colours. "Bush Melon Seed" is big and small patches of colour strewn across the canvas. Both these Dreamings tell the story of the sweet food that comes from a small bush and is only found in Atnwengerrp. Once very abundant and fruiting in the summer season, the bush melon is now very hard to find.

Minnie Pwerle’s paintings have been included in many exhibitions at Japingka Gallery including-

2012 Heirs and Successors
2010 Summer Collection
2008 Utopia Collection
2006 Grandmother and Granddaughter - Minnie Pwerle & Teresa Purla
2006 Towards Black and White
2006 Colour of Utopia
2005 Utopia Revealed
2004 Minnie Pwerle & Mitjili Napurrula
2003 Light Over Utopia
2001 Minnie Pwerle, Mary Pantjiti McLean - Tumaru Purlykumunu, Small Stories

A selection of paintings by Minnie Pwerle is available from Japingka Gallery, where collectors can buy Aboriginal art online with certainty of quality, authenticity and provenance of art works.


Mitjili Napanangka Gibson Artist Profile Picture

Mitjili Napanangka Gibson


Region: Kiwirrkura

Mitjili Napanangka Gibson (c1932 – 2011) was born at Winparrku (Mt Webb), near Kiwirrkura in Western Australia. Her ancestral country is Wilkinkarra (Lake Mackay), Mitjili’s father’s country, located in the Gibson Desert along the Western Australian-Northern Territory border. Mitjili Napanangka Gibson belongs to the Pintupi language group, but also speaks fluent Warlpiri. Her father was speared at Mt Webb when she was very young, and Mitjili was looked after by her brother Pinta Pinta Tjapanangka.

Mitjili Napurrula Artist Profile Picture

Mitjili Napurrula


Region: Haasts Bluff

Mitjili Napurrula is a Pintupi artist from the Haasts Bluff region, located 200 km west of Alice Springs. She was born about 1945 and is half sister to the famous Aboriginal artist Turkey Tjupurrula Tolson. She married Long Tom Tjapanangka at Papunya in the 1960's, and they later lived at Haasts Bluff and Mt Liebeg.

Mitjili's distinctive painting style and designs are based on her father's country called Uwalki, an area west of Haasts Bluff near the Kintore Ranges. The Dreaming stories (Tjukurrpa) behind the paintings relate to the making of spears - an important aspect of "men's business". The patterns represent the women's side of this Tjukurrpa, showing the trees (Watiya Tjuta) that provide the wood for spear shafts and other objects.

This country is characterised by red sandhills, bushes and trees including the beautiful desert oaks. Mitjili was taught some of her key imagery by her mother drawing patterns in the sand. She says: "My mother taught me my father's Tjukurrpa; that's what I'm painting on the canvas". Mitjili's canvases are patterned with strong, vibrant colours, and contain an incredible energy. This style has gained her a strong following within Australia and internationally.

Japingka Gallery has exhibited the work of Mitjili Napurrula over a number of years including the exhibitions –

2011 In Black and White
2007 Mitjili Napurrula
2006 Towards Black & White
2005 Across Skin - Women Artists of the Western Desert
2004 Minnie Pwerle and Mitjili Napurrula

A selection of paintings by Mitjili Napurrula is available from Japingka Gallery, where collectors can buy Aboriginal art online with certainty of quality, authenticity and provenance of art works.

Nada Rawlins Artist Profile Picture

Nada Rawlins


Region: Wangkatjungka

Nada Rawlins was born about 1936 near Kirriwirri, in the southern stretches of Wangkatjungka country, in Western Australia's Great Sandy Desert. This country incorporates Percival lakes, a chain of salt lakes running for hundreds of kilometers across the desert. The traditional owners, including Nada's family and relatives, were custodians of this country and knew the sources of fresh water, which were often located within the salt lakes.

Nada says of her early life: “I was born in the desert in the bush. My mother never put me in a blanket. I never saw my father. Another father grow me up. We came from the desert along the Canning Stock Route when I was a young girl. We walked through Billiluna. After I lived with my family at Moola Bulla. Then we walked alongside the river to Christmas Creek. We had no motorcar - carried everything - swag, billycan, sticks, on our heads. Three mothers and an old man. Elsie Thomas and I worked together get firewood, cook damper. No kids, we look after old people. I been sick one.”

Nada Rawlins lived in Fitzroy Crossing and at Wangkatjungka Community. She is renowned for the atmospheric abstract landscapes of her country that she paints in large areas of saturated colour. Nada Rawlins is represented widely in National and State art gallery collections and private collections.

Nada Rawlins has exhibited her works extensively since 1991 and her paintings have been included in many exhibitions at Japingka Gallery including-

2010 Wangkatjungka Artists
2009 Kids and Mentors
2009 Desert Rains – Wangkatjungka Artists
2008 Wangkatjungka Artists: Canning Stock Route
2007 Desert Mosaic
2007 Wangkatjungka Mapping Country
2004 Tali and Jila – Sandhills and Waterholes
2003 Artists of Wangkatjungka – From the Great Sandy Desert

A selection of paintings by Nada Rawlins is available from Japingka Gallery, where collectors can buy Aboriginal art online with certainty of quality, authenticity and provenance of art works.

Narpula Scobie Napurrula Artist Profile Picture

Narpula Scobie Napurrula


Region: Kintore

Pintupi artist Narpula Scobie Napurrula was for many years during the 1980s and early 1990s, the only women artist painting in Papunya Tula studios. Narpula Scobie Napurrula grew up in Haasts Bluff and later moved to moved to Papunya, then Kintore then Mt Liebig. Narpula Scobie Napurrula is sister to the late artist Turkey Tolson Tjupurrula. When she married Johnny Scobie Tjapanangka and moved to Kintore she had already begun to paint her own works, as well as assisting her husband with his paintings.

In 2000 Narpula Scobie Napurrula moved to Mt Liebig to join her children and grandchildren after her husband passed away. Narpula has a distinctive approach to painting Women’s Dreaming and ceremonial body paint images. Narpula Scobie Napurrula is represented in major public collections and has exhibited widely over the past 25 years. Aboriginal art status – Established artist.

Nellie Marks Nakamarra Artist Profile Picture

Nellie Marks Nakamarra


Region: Kintore

Nellie Marks Nakamarra is a Luritja artist, and is the stepdaughter of the famous artist Turkey Tolson Tjupurrula. Her sister is well known Central Australian artist Elizabeth Marks Nakamarra. Nellie Marks Nakamarra was taught to paint by some of the foundation artists of the Aboriginal desert art movement. Born in Papunya and growing up in the Western Desert, Nellie’s greatest artistic influences included Old Mick Namarari Tjapaltjarri, Turkey Tolson Tjupurrula, Uta Uta Tjangala and many others.

Nellie Marks Nakamarra is custodian of Dreaming stories from her father’s and her grandfather’s country, which lies to the east of Kintore in the Northern Territory. Nellie Marks Nakamarra’s main subjects for her paintings are Lightning Dreaming, Women’s Tingari and Women’s ceremonial stories. Nellie Marks Nakamarra has had paintings represented in the exhibitions Desert Gold in November 2012 and Desert Song in April 2014 held at Japingka Gallery. Aboriginal art status - Rising Star.

Ningura Napurrula Artist Profile Picture

Ningura Napurrula


Region: Kiwirrkura

Ningura Napurrula (1938 – 2013) was born at Watulka, south of the modern Kiwirrkura community in Western Australia, and is one of Australia’s leading indigenous artists. Her work is represented in all Australian national galleries and in one of Europe’s most important public museums, Musee du quai Branly, Paris.

Ningura Napurrula is the widow of the late Yala Yala Gibbs Tjungurrayi, a highly respected Pintupi elder. Ningura’s first contact with Western society was in 1962 when she and Yala Yala brought their family to Papunya. By 1963, they had moved permanently to the settlement. In the 1980s Ningura Napurrula moved with Yala Yala and their family to Kintore where she started helping with the background dotting on Yala Yala’s artwork, collaboration being a common practice with aboriginal artists. In 1995, as part of the Kintore/Haasts Bluff women’s painting project, she started doing her own artwork.

Characteristic of Ningura Napurrula’s work is a strong dynamism created by rich linear designs made with heavy layers of acrylic paint. Her depictions include the stories associated with the rockhole sites of Wirrulnga and Palturunya, east of Kiwirrkurra.

Japingka Gallery has exhibited the work of Ningura Napurrula over many years including the exhibitions -

2008 Women’s Law
2006 Luminaries of the Desert
2005 Across Skin-Women Artists of the Western Desert

A selection of paintings by Ningura Napurrula is available from Japingka Gallery, where collectors can buy Aboriginal art online with certainty of quality, authenticity and provenance of art works.

Patrick Tjungurrayi Artist Profile Picture

Patrick Tjungurrayi


Region: Kiwirrkura

Patrick Tjungurrayi was born in Yalangerri near Jupiter Well in Western Australia around 1935. He is a Pintupi and Kukatja speaker, the brother of the late Brandy Tjungurrayi and Elizabeth Nyumi, both major artists from the Balgo community.

As a young man, he walked with his family following the Canning Stock Route north into old Balgo Mission which had been established in 1943. The family would collect rations such as wheat, which they would grind up themselves, and rice, sugar and tea, and then return to the bush. Patrick Tjungurrayi spent his early years travelling between Balgo and Kiwirrkura, moving with his family across their traditional lands.

Patrick Tjungurrayi eventually moved to the Old Balgo Mission, where he worked building stone houses and later the church at the new Balgo site. He met and married Mirriam Oloodoodi, Lucy Yukenbari’s sister, but returned to Kintore shortly after while she remained behind. Through the early 1980s Patrick travelled to Christmas Creek, Docker River and other desert communities. Patrick Tjungurrayi is a senior law man for his country - he began painting in Balgo in 1986, and more recently exhibited with Papunya Tula.

In 2008 Patrick Tjungurrayi won the Western Australian Indigenous Art Award sponsored by the Art Gallery of Western Australia. His work is described as having a powerful presence - masterful and monumental.

Paddy Bedford Artist Profile Picture

Paddy Bedford


Region: Kununurra

Paddy Bedford (c1922-2007) a senior Gija artist and Law man was born at Bedford Downs station in the East Kimberley, during turbulent times when group killings of Aboriginal people were still being perpetrated by landholders. Some years before his birth, relatives of Paddy Bedford had been poisoned in retaliation for the killing of a milking cow.

At that time the local Aboriginal people moved away to the government station of Violet Valley, set up ten years earlier as a refuge for Aboriginal people displaced from their homelands. People later returned to Bedford Downs to work and to be closer to their homelands.

Paddy Bedford grew up to work as a stockman on Greenvale and Bow River stations, in the era when Aboriginal workers were paid in food rations, tobacco and clothing. After 1969 when the laws on equal pay took effect, most cattle station owners laid off their Aboriginal workers. Paddy Bedford and his family moved to the settlement at Turkey Creek, later known as Warmun.

Paddy Bedford was familiar with ceremonial body painting and the wider ochre painting movement that emerged at Warmun from the work of Paddy Jaminji and Rover Thomas in the late 1970s and early 1980s. But Bedford started making his own paintings on canvas much later in 1998 at Jirrawun Arts and his paintings became steadily more minimalist and austere. Bedford’s paintings were most strongly influenced by the paintings of Rover Thomas with their strong references to landscape and pared down volumes of tonal colour.

Paddy Bedford developed his own compositions that featured domed blocks, reminiscent of hill forms with bold outlines and strong contrasts. He maintained these compositions through a series of works with earth-based ochre pigments into the introduction of brighter primary colours against a black and white structure.

Paddy Bedford’s paintings combine important family Dreamings, such as those of the Emu, Turkey and Cockatoo Dreamings, with roads, rivers, the living areas for traditional life and stock camp life, stock yards and country visited while mustering. Despite his relatively brief career, Bedford’s artistic output was prolific and consistently innovative, which is evident in his facility with his subject matter. He was one of eight Indigenous Australian artists selected to create a site-specific work for the Quai Branly Museum in Paris and is represented in a number of major Australian and international collections.

Penny K Lyons Artist Profile Picture

Penny K Lyons


Region: Wangkatjungka

Penny K Lyons is a senior artist from Wangkatjungka community. Her paintings reflect her deep knowledge of the ancestral country of her clan in the Great Sandy Desert, where she lived until a young woman. Penny K Lyons was one of the very last Walmajarri people to leave the desert homelands. Her people had been migrating to the Kimberley cattle country over many decades and the desert culture had travelled with them into the Fitzroy Valley.

Penny K Lyons paints the many waterholes that she knows from her country, naming the places and the locations where they gathered bush food. Penny K Lyons uses a rich palette of colours to render her desert homelands.

Polly Ngal Artist Profile Picture

Polly Ngal


Region: Utopia

Polly Ngal is a senior artist of the Anmatyerre and Alyawarre language groups of Central Australia.

Polly Ngal was born around 1940 and lives at the Boundary Bore community on the Utopia homelands. Polly is one of three famous artist sisters whose works is distinctive amongst the uniquely broad sweep of artists who work on the Utopia homelands. The sisters - Kathleen Ngale, Angeline Pwerle Ngale and Polly Ngal – create the multi-layered Dreaming stories of their inheritance.

Polly Ngale was part of the great experiment at Utopia, where a large group of women worked on the batik project during the 1970s and 1980s. The aim was to build sustainable craft industry to support the traditional owners’ claims for Native Title over their lands. Over this ten year period the artists developed great skill and respect for their batik work, which reflected the custodial stories and ceremonies belonging to the group.

In 1988 the project extended to include painting on canvas. This proved to be a major turning point, as all the skills and techniques learned in the batik project, created a fresh new way to approach painting. These first paintings were to establish the careers of some of the great painters of Central Australia.

Polly Ngale participated in the inaugural exhibition of these works held in Sydney in 1989. During the 1990s Polly Ngale produced more artworks but it was from 1999 onwards that her paintings were most widely exhibited. Aboriginal art status – Established artist.

Queenie McKenzie Artist Profile Picture

Queenie McKenzie


Region: Warmun

Queenie McKenzie (1915- 1998) was born at Old Texas Downs Station on the Ord River, to the south-east of Turkey Creek. She grew up among Gija people and speaks Gija as her first language. Queenie was the first women painter to gain prominence in the East Kimberley school of painting. A close and long-time friend of reknown Aboriginal artist Rover Thomas, she worked with him on the Texan Downs cattle station.

As a young woman, McKenzie was a camp cook for the stockmen on the cattle station. She fondly remembered an incident that occurred about 1954, when she saved Rover's life. He had been thrown from a horse and had scalped himself. She sewed his scalp back on so expertly that, even though she had never done such a thing before, doctors were later amazed. In time the incident became the subject of a number of her paintings. Queenie and her husband moved to Warmun in the 1970's. Although never having children of her own she nevertheless 'grew up' lots of other children, whose mothers were unable to look after them.

When Rover Thomas began painting for the public domain, his work inspired Queenie McKenzie to take up painting herself. She preferred using natural pigments and included distinctive powdery pink and pale violet colours made from ochres that she mined herself. As she said, these colours appealed to her sense of beauty. In her compositions, she usually placed images of geographic features in rows against monochrome grounds. Queenie passed away in November 1998, less than a month after she had been awarded the rare honour of being appointed as an official "Living Treasure".

Ronnie Tjampitjinpa Artist Profile Picture

Ronnie Tjampitjinpa


Region: Kintore

Ronnie Tjampitjinpa is one of the original Papunya Tula artists and an original shareholder in the company. He was about 18 when he made his first painting in Papunya with the first group of artists connected with Geoffrey Bardon in 1971. Ronnie Tjampitjinpa became one of the best known of the Papunya painters during the 1980s onwards.

Ronnie Tjampitjinpa has connections to the Water Dreaming story from the site at Kalipinypa, where his grandfather passed away. Ronnie Tjampitjinpa’s main connections are to the site at Yintjinti. Ronnie has strong links to the artistic tradition at Papunya - his father Minpuru Tjangaal was the older brother of Uta Uta Tjangala.

When he was young, Ronnie Tjampitjinpa’s family group travelled widely over Pintupi country. They first made contact with white people in 1956 when their family group met with Jeremy Long’s patrol in the desert, as the walked in from Umari, in the Dovers Hills area.

Ronnie and his brother later went bush again, travelling around and then visiting Yuendumu, before returning to live at the government settlement at Papunya. During this time in the 1970s Ronnie Tjampitjinpa moved widely between townships at Papunya, Yuendumu, Balgo and Mt Doreen station. When a settlement was established at Kintore in 1981, Ronnie moved there with his family. They then established Redbank outstation at Ininti on Ronnie’s birth country.

Ronnie Tjampitjinpa established a bold linear style in his painting, often using very large scale canvases that allowed the repetition of motifs to grand effect. His influence on other artists at Kintore during the 1990s was considerable. Aboriginal art status – Collectable artist.

Rosella Namok Artist Profile Picture

Rosella Namok


Region: Lockhart River

Born in 1979, Rosella Namok is an Ungkum speaker who grew up in Lockhart River. In 1999 she burst onto the art scene with a highly successful exhibition in Sydney, which launched both her reputation and that of the Lockhart River Art Gang. She now enjoys a celebrated reputation among national and international art collectors.

Namok’s lands are to the south of Lockhart. Her totem is the Rosella. The artist’s language is the Aankum Group. Rosella began painting as a young girl when helping her father to decorate the bodies of dancers with ochre paints for traditional ceremonies. Her father was the painter of dancer’s bodies for tribal ceremony at Lockhart River and she would often help him smearing clay onto the body and working it with the fingers to create the appropriate designs. The marks or patterns used on the body and on the ceremonial ground are highly symbolic.

These ancestral markings are still strong elements in Rosella’s art today, together with other traditional symbolic patterns learnt from the sand drawing style taught to her by her grandmother. In Rosella Namok’s work we observe both decorative finger painting as well as “scraping” of the surface. “I paint mainly about clan groups, country, family and what people do” says Namok. Other subjects include the seasons – the dry and the wet – and the rainforest. I also paint about the stories people tell me about, the spirits and carnival journeys to other communities.”

Rosella's work is included in all the major Australian galleries and in some international collections. Her work is often viewed as taking Aboriginal art in a new direction, linking the traditional with the modern. She was ranked among the 50 most Collectable Artists in Australia by Art Collector magazine for 2001 and 2002. In 2013 two of her paintings were used as backdrops to a performance of Stavinsky’s ballet The Rite of Spring by the Houston Ballet company in Texas.

Read more: Rosella Namok's Feeling For The Rain

Rosemary Petyarre Artist Profile Picture

Rosemary Petyarre


Region: Utopia

Rosemary Petyarre belongs to one of the most significant clans of painters on the Utopia homelands. The great Aboriginal artist Emily Kame Kngwarreye is her aunt, and her siblings include Jeannie Petyarre, Greeny Purvis Petyarre and Evelyn Pultara. Rosemary Petyarre was born at Boundary Bore on the Utopia Homelands in the early 1950s.

Rosemary Petyarre’s signature style is the painting of the Bush Yam Leaf which she depicts with the tiny seeds scattered amongst the leaves. Rosemary Petyarre also paints the Bush Medicine Leaf which her aunt Gloria Petyarre has made famous.

Rosie Goodjie Artist Profile Picture

Rosie Goodjie


Region: Wangkatjungka

Rosie Goodjie (bush name Kuji) was born about 1935 near Nyirla, at Kulyayi waterhole, near Well 39 on the Canning Stock Route. She moved with other family members north along the Canning Stock Route towards the white settlements of the Kimberley cattle station country. Rosie Goodjie moved first to Bililuna station where she milked the nanny goats, working for rations. Later she moved to Christmas Creek station.

Rosie Goodjie says of her early life: “When I left my home lands, came north on the Canning Stock Route to Bililuna, Old Balgo. Catholic Mission there. Most Wangkajunka people travelled that way, when they left the desert to go towards white settlement. No mother, no father when Rosie go that way. No family now. Work at Bililuna. Look after nanny goat, milk ‘em every morning. Work for ration. Take ‘em to river, cook ‘em. Follow river all the way down, to Christmas Creek. Before kids. Working at station with Elsie Thomas and Nada Rawlins. Been learn English right there.”
In the 1980s Wangkatjungka Community was established on land excised from the station. From 1994 to 1998 senior desert Aboriginal artists began recording their stories at Karrayili adult education service. When the Karrayili annex closed in 1998, a number of senior people continued to paint, and Rosie Goodjie was amongst those artists. Rosie paints the country where she grew up with her family before they were separated from their country and moved to Christmas Creek Station. Rosie Goodjie lives at Wangkatjungka and sometimes camps at the homeland of Ngaranjadu. In 2002 Rosie Goodjie appeared in the film Rabbit Proof Fence.

Rover Thomas Artist Profile Picture

Rover Thomas


Region: Warmun

Rover Thomas (1926- 1998) became one of the most significant Aboriginal artists of the East Kimberley and of the wider Aboriginal art movement. He was born far south from the country where he gained his fame, growing up near Well 33 in the Great Sandy Desert. But in the 1930s his family moved north along the Canning Stock Route to Bililuna Station and began a life as a Kimberley stockman.

Rover Thomas settled at the Gija community of Warmun in 1975 and became closely involved in the ceremonial life there, conceiving a new Dreaming for a ritual performance of the Krill Krill. The painted boards used by the dancers provided a mechanism for artists working in ochre paint to extend the imagery and subjects to create new subjects for Aboriginal art.

Rover Thomas was first a manager of the ceremonial painting process, then became its best known participant. From the 1980s his paintings of the Cyclone Tracy events that formed the Dreamed Krill Krill ceremony through to images of station country and significant historical events, formed the basis for a new development in Kimberley Aboriginal art.


Sarrita King Artist Profile Picture

Sarrita King


Region: Darwin

Sarrita King was born in Adelaide in 1988, the younger sister of fellow artist Tarisse King, and daughter of the highly regarded late artist, William King Jungala (1966–2007). Sarrita King inherits her Australian Aboriginality from her father, a Gurindji man from the Northern Territory.

Sarrita King grew up in Darwin in the Northern Territory, where her connections to her Aboriginality and her land were nurtured. Experiences of extreme weather and primal landscape have provided the artistic themes for her work from the time she began painting at sixteen. In painting the elements, Sarrita provides her personal visual articulation of the earth’s language.

Stylistically, Sarrita King uses traditional Aboriginal techniques and iconography, but she incorporates along with them unorthodox techniques inherited from her father, as well as techniques she has developed through her own practice. Sarrita King now lives and paints in Canberra. She has been included in over twenty exhibitions, is represented in galleries in all Australian states, and in many high profile Australian and international art collections.

Sarrita King’s exhibitions at Japingka Gallery include-

2013 The King Sisters – Sarrita King & Tarisse King
2012 Sarrita King

Samantha Hobson Artist Profile Picture

Samantha Hobson


Region: Lockhart River

Samantha Hobson is one of the leading artists of the Lockhart River Art Gang who began painting in the late 1990s. At the time she was 17 and the group made a strong impression with their strong colours and exuberant contemporary style. Samantha Hobson had her first solo exhibition in 1999, exhibiting paintings of the land and reef around her home country on Cape York in northern Queensland.

Samantha Hobson moved to Cairns in the mid 2000s to continue her painting career independently from her community. She says of her life - “Since 2000, I’ve worked as a professional artist ... painting for solo and group exhibitions. It’s the only work I’ve ever done. It lets me express my life and Culture. It also helps me bring up my kids and look after my family, and pay the bills. I’m very lucky for what I am today, I couldn’t think how I’d be without my art work ... probably back in Lockhart River, sitting around with no job, getting busted up.”

Samantha Hobson is represented in the National Gallery of Victoria, Queensland Art Gallery, Cairns Regional Gallery and numerous private collections in Australia, USA, Singapore and Malaysia. Aboriginal art status – Established artist.

Sonya Edney Artist Profile Picture

Sonya Edney


Region: South West Western Australia

Sonya Edney’s paintings reflect the qualities of the landscape from the mid north of Western Australia.

She says – “Thinking about the style I do now, I am thinking about the land, about home and family. Sometimes when I’m painting, with the grief I’ve had recently, the painting helps me get through it. The feeling that I have, I put it into the painting to make the colours, to make it strong.”

“The paintings of the seasons, some remind me of the floods and a dry river bed – all the dark colours and the shapes from the gum trees. Floods come in the cyclone season when the rivers start to run. In the wet season after Christmas it’s always hot out there. You get wildflowers out in the Gascoyne in the summer.”

“I came in here to Japingka with a painting last year and now I’m sitting down painting in the gallery. What inspires me here is being in the gallery looking at all the other artwork, how other artists have done their work.”

During 2019 Sonya is preparing artwork for a solo exhibition at Japingka. Aboriginal art status - Rising Star.

Spinifex Artists Artist Profile Picture

Spinifex Artists


Region: Spinifex

The Spinifex artists first gained recognition when they came together to present artworks that reflected their connections to Pitjantjatjara lands as part of their Native Title claim that was successfully concluded in 2001. The Spinifex Arts Project had been formed in 1996 to facilitate the role of painting in the community, to document the connections of the families to stories and land sites. From this, the role of art was firmly established as a way to portray traditional connections between people and land.

As the artworks are regularly produced after visiting important sites on Country, the paintings are informed by knowledge of the movements of Ancestors who created the sites as they travelled across the lands. For these artists, one of the significant tasks for the paintings is to display the people’s relationships to their Country and to each other.

The Spinifex people are re-asserting their links to Country as they were displaced during the 1950s and 1960s when their lands were part of weapons testing zone during the era of the Cold War. About 200 people were moved off Country during that time, mostly onto mission settlements. Even so, some families managed to remain and survive on their Country during that time, to the amazement of others who thought they must have died during the intervening years. One group, the Rictor family, were finally located in 1986 by missionaries and countrymen. The Spinifex artists document an extraordinary history of knowledge and survival on their country in the Great Victoria Desert. Aboriginal art status – Collectable artists.

Stumpy Brown Artist Profile Picture

Stumpy Brown


Region: Wangkatjungka

Stumpy Brown (1924- 2011) was a senior Wangkatjungka woman born at Ngupawarlu in Western Australia's Great Sandy Desert. Stumpy is a full sister to the famous Aboriginal artist Rover Thomas. She lost her mother and father at an early age and was raised by her uncle, Jamali who was droving bullocks on the Canning Stock Route. He took Nyuju to Balgo Hills when she was a little girl, and then later returned to Fitzroy Crossing where Nyuju grew up and lived most of her life.

Stumpy Brown says of her early life: “My country is desert county. There are no rivers, we never see running water like rivers, only creeks after the rain, only jilji (sandhills). When I was a young girl I came to Balgo on a camel. This was the first time I came from the bush. Later I worked in the kitchen at Bohemia Downs Station. We got no money for the work. We got tea, meat and tobacco.”

Stumpy Brown began painting in the late 1980s in Fitzroy Crossing. As a senior law woman and custodian of Ngupawarlu, she recreates the story of her country in bold strong colours, and has been exhibiting her work since 1991. Stumpy lived at Wangkatjungka Community and at Fitzroy Crossing. Stumpy Brown’s work is represented in National and State Galleries and numerous private collections.

Summer Matthews Artist Profile Picture

Summer Matthews


Region: Murray River

Summer Matthews specialises in hand painted, kiln fired glass works. Her beautifully worked designs reflect the country of her family’s heritage along the Darling River in NSW. Summer Matthews has been working with high quality glass design since 2000 at her studio space outside Albury- Wadonga. For many years Summer Matthews provided technical expertise to other Aboriginal artists who worked in the studios as artists in residence.

The images on Summer Matthews glass works create the dynamic colours and interweaving structures of the landscape, showing watercourses and billabongs, amid the more arid country of inland NSW. Summer Matthews has exhibited widely in Australia, Europe and USA, and has major commissions for the Parliament in New Zealand and the Prime Minister’s Office in Australia. Aboriginal art status - Rising Star.

Tarisse King Artist Profile Picture

Tarisse King


Region: Darwin

Tarisse King is a member of a well established artistic family, working alongside her sister Sarrita King and her late father, William King Jungala (1966 – 2007). Tarisse King began painting at an early age mentored by her father when she was still a teenager. She absorbed the philosophies and painting skills of her father, and continued to develop her own technical skills and ideas after his early death.

Tarisse King began exhibiting while still in her early 20s and in a short time has established her artistic reputation. She has often exhibited alongside her sister Sarrita King, and both artists have presented their work across Australia and in Europe. Aboriginal art status - Rising Star.

Thomas Tjapaltjarri Artist Profile Picture

Thomas Tjapaltjarri


Region: Kiwirrkura

Thomas Tjapaltjarri was born around 1964 in the Gibson Desert, Western Australia. Thomas and his family, which includes fellow artists Walimpirrnga, Walala, Yukultji, Yalti and Tjakaria, led a completely nomadic life until they emerged from the desert, coming to Kiwirrkurra in 1984. The event of the family coming in from the desert was a momentous one. They had remained isolated from relatives who had left their desert homelands twenty years earlier. The family group had roamed between waterholes around Lake Mackay, along the border country between Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

The family group consisted of four brothers, three sisters and two mothers. The boys and girls were all in their early-to-late teens, although their exact ages were not known; the mothers were in their late 30s. After making contact and establishing their relationships, the Pintupi nine were invited to come and live at Kiwirrkura. The Pintupi-speaking trackers told them there was plenty of food, and water that came out of pipes. Yardi has said that this concept astounded them.

Three of the brothers - Walimpirrnga, Walala, and Tamlik (now known as 'Thomas') went on to gain international recognition in the Aboriginal art world. Thomas paints simple, geometric designs and uses a dotting technique shared with other Pintupi artists such as his brothers, Warlimpirrnga and Walala, and with George Ward Tjungurrayi. Thomas's works generally explore the stories of the Tingari cycle.

Japingka Gallery has exhibited the work of Thomas Tjapaltjarri over many years including the exhibitions:

2013 Landmarks and Law Grounds: Men of the Desert
2011 Tjapaltjarri Brothers
2004 Travels of the Tingari – New Pintupi Works
2003 Pintupi – Major Works from the Western Desert

A selection of paintings by Thomas Tjapaltjarri is available from Japingka Gallery, where collectors can buy Aboriginal art online with certainty of quality, authenticity and provenance of art works.

Tjawina Porter Nampitjinpa  Artist Profile Picture

Tjawina Porter Nampitjinpa


Region: Docker River

Tjawina Porter Nampitjinpa was born at Yumara, north of Docker River in Western Australia around 1950, and is a half sister to Nyurapayia Nampitjinpa (Mrs Bennett) and full sister to Esther Giles Nampitjinpa. Tjawina Porter Nampitjinpa grew up ‘in the bush’, living a traditional lifestyle with her family. After her younger brother died, her family decided to move to the then newly established government settlement of Papunya.

Tjawina Porter Nampitjinpa is now widowed and has returned to live on her traditional lands with family members, including her sister and fellow artist Esther Giles Nampitjinpa.

Tjawina Porter Nampitjinpa paints her mother’s and father’s Dreamings - the sites of Yumari, Punkilpirri, Tjukurla and Tjalili. These sites are important for ceremonies as well as being prominent sources for water and important bush foods. Tjawina Porter Nampitjinpa’s style is to use layers of thickly applied dots, with a palette of predominantly white, creams, browns and pastels. Her works are rich in ethnographic iconography, portraying the Tjukurrpa stories passed down through her family line. Tjawina Porter Nampitjinpa has also established a reputation as a skilled maker of traditional basket weavings and carvings. Aboriginal art status – Established artist.

Tommy Watson  Artist Profile Picture

Tommy Watson


Region: Alice Springs

Pitjantjatara artist Tommy Yannima Watson became one of the most famous Western Desert artists soon after he began painting in 2001 at Irrunytju community, in Western Australia near the junction of Northern Territory and South Australian borders. Tommy Watson had spent his youth living off the land and acquiring a deep knowledge of his ancestral country, then later worked on cattle stations.

When he began painting his luminous colour-filled canvases, collectors took note of their energy and their inner glow, as though to capture the spirit of the country. Tommy Watson exhibited at major Aboriginal art events between 2002 and 2005, establishing his reputation and his status, entering into major art collections. In 2006 Tommy Watson was one of eight Aboriginal artists whose work was included in the structure of the Musee du quai Branly in Paris.

As an artist Yannima Tommy Watson can work on very large scale canvases with great skill while maintaining the intensity and vibrancy that characterise all his paintings. His signature colours are the deep rich tones of red, burgundy, gold and magenta pink, with paler highlights in yellow or white. Tommy Watson is represented in major public and private collections within Australia and internationally.

Turbo Brown Artist Profile Picture

Turbo Brown


Region: Murray River

Trevor Turbo Brown (1967-2017) paints the niave world of birds and animals, painting with great energy and freshness. Turbo had a severely difficult upbringing around Mildura. He suffered from an intellectual disability and endured abandonment, homelessness and substance abuse. As a teeneager he was finally adopted, later moved to Melbourne, became interested in rap music and dance, and then was introduced to painting.

His path from oppressive difficulties to a possible life of involvement in art has given Turbo Brown a positive lift. Turbo Brown has successfully held his first solo exhibition in 2005, and regularly been a finalist in the prestigious Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Awards in Darwin. Other honours for Turbo Brown include being represented in the 2006 Landmarks exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria and the 2007 Culture Warriors inaugural National Indigenous Art Triennial.

Painting into his late 40s, Turbo Brown paints the images that sustain him – the birds and animals in the natural world. The immediacy and vibrancy of his painted universe is immediately apparent. Aboriginal art status - Mid career artist.


Walala Tjapaltjarri Artist Profile Picture

Walala Tjapaltjarri


Region: Kiwirrkura

Walala Tjapaltajarri was born in the Gibson Desert east of Kiwirrkura in the early 1960s. In October, 1984, he was one of a small party of nine people from the Pintupi language group who walked out of the Gibson Desert into the small, remote Kiwirrkura community in northern Western Australia. Their arrival generated enormous interest and international headlines. Until this point Walala had never encountered Europeans or their ways. The group had been following their traditional lifestyle in the desert country west of Lake Mackay.

It was Walala's brother, Warlimpirrnga, who instructed him in the use of paints and canvas. Walala started painting classic Tingari images. While Walala's first paintings used a classical Tingari iconography usually reserved for body painting, ground painting and the decoration of traditional artefacts.

By 1996 his painting style had evolved into the works he continues to paint, characterised by rectangular shapes with surrounding dots and a limited palette of up to four colours. Walala Tjapaltajarri paints the Tingari Cycle, a series of sacred and secret mythological song cycles, which is associated with the artist's many Dreamings.

Japingka Gallery has exhibited the work of Walala Tjapaltjarri over many years including the exhibitions -

2013 Landmarks and Law Grounds: Men of the Desert
2011 Tjapaltjarri Brothers
2004 Travels of the Tingari – New Pintupi Works
2003 Pintupi – Major Works from the Western Desert
2000 Sand, Spinifex and Salt
1998 Tingari, My Dreaming – Three Leading Pintupi Artists

A selection of paintings by Walala Tjapaltjarri is available from Japingka Gallery, where collectors can buy Aboriginal art online with certainty of quality, authenticity and provenance of art works.

Walangkura Napanangka Artist Profile Picture

Walangkura Napanangka


Region: Kintore

Walangkura Napanangka was born about 1940 in the bush at Tjiturulnga, west of Walungurru (Kintore), in the Gibson Desert, near the Western Australia/ Northern Territory border. Her family was amongst a group of Pintupi people who made their way to the Ikuntji settlement (Haasts Bluff) in 1956. They walked hundreds of kilometres from west of the salt lake of Karrkurutinjinya (Lake Macdonald) to access the supplies of food and water available at the settlement. The family returned to their homelands community of Walungurru in 1981.

Walangkura lived the latter part of her life in Kintore with her husband and fellow artist Johnny Yungut Tjupurrula. Her mother, Inyuwa Nampitjinpa and sister, Pirrmangka Napanangka, both deceased were also painters. Her father was Tutuma Tjapangati.

As an Aboriginal artists, Walangkura began her painting career through participating in the historic Kintore-Haasts Bluff collaborative canvas project 'Minyma Tjukurrpa' in 1995. Her paintings exude a powerful energy, recreating the creation stories and ceremonial sites associated with the Tjukurrpa of her Pintupi homelands.

Japingka Gallery has exhibited the work of Walangkura Napanangka over many years including the exhibitions:

2008 Women’s Law
2006 Luminaries of the Desert
2005 Across Skin-Women Artists of the Western Desert

A selection of paintings by Walangkura Napanangka is available from Japingka Gallery, where collectors can buy Aboriginal art online with certainty of quality, authenticity and provenance of art works.

Wentja Napaltjarri Artist Profile Picture

Wentja Napaltjarri


Region: Mount Liebig

Wentja Napaltjarri (1945-2014) was born in the Gibson Desert and grew up west of Kintore in her father’s country. Wentja Napaltjarri, who is the daughter of one of the founders of the Aboriginal art movement at Papunya, Shorty Lungkata Tjungurrayi, and has been painting all of her life. Wentja Napaltjarri’s first paintings were collaborative, helping out the men in the family with their work. While they painted the stories or iconographic elements, Wentja Napaltjarri did the in-fill dotting, characteristic of the Pintupi desert artists.

Wentja Napaltjarri’s own career began when she created her first paintings for Watiyawanu Artists at Amunturrngu (Mt Liebig). Since that time Wentja Napaltjarri has achieved high recognition for her work and in 2002 she was a finalist in the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award.

The main subjects for Wentja Napaltjarri’s paintings are Blue Tongue Lizard and Water Dreaming stories, handed down from her father. Wentja Napaltjarri also paints sandhills, rockholes, and other landmarks associated with water and Desert Oaks. Wentja Napaltjarri’s paintings are less geometric than her father’s and show a softening of iconography through the use of intricate, finely-worked dots. This soft dotting technique is characteristic of many of the well-known Aboriginal women artists who have emerged from Mt Liebig. Wentja Napaltjarri’s palette reflects the warm colours of the central desert country.

Wentja Napaltjarri is a highly individual artist little influenced by other painters working around her and has developed a distinctive and consistent style characterized by subtle variations in colour and texture. Wentja Napaltjarri lives at Mt Liebig with husband, Ginger Tjakamarra (son of well known artist Makinti Napanangka), and with her sons.

Willie Kew Artist Profile Picture

Willie Kew


Region: Wangkatjungka

Willie Kew (c1930-2016) has the bush name Luurn, after the Creation Kingfisher spirit that made the ancestral waterhole at Nyirla, where the artist was born. Willie Kew’s home country is at Nyirla Rockhole, near Well 38 along the Canning Stock Route.

Luurn Willie Kew migrated with other countrymen into the Fitzroy Valley where he worked as a stockman on the cattle stations. When her retired he lived at the community at Wangkatjungka near Christmas Creek station. Here he began painting, focusing on the creation story of his home country Nyirla. Luurn Willie Kew distills the features of the Rockhole and represents the beak of the Kingfisher as it delivers the first people to the Nyirla site.

Yinarupa Gibson Nangala Artist Profile Picture

Yinarupa Gibson Nangala


Region: Kiwirrkura

Yinarupa Gibson Nangala is a Pintupi Aboriginal artist, born in the bush at Mukula in the early 1960s, in the region near today’s settlement of Kiwirrkura in Western Australia. Yinarupa is the daughter of Papunya Tula Artist, Anatjari Tjampitjinpa, and co-wife of the late Yala Yala Gibbs Tjungurrayi. Thus, she is related by marriage into the families of Aboriginal artists George Ward Tjungurrayi and Willy Tjungurrayi. One of Yala Yala’s other wives was Ningara Napurrula. The mother of five sons, Yinarupa spends her time between her community of Kiwirrkurra and Alice Springs.

Yinarupa Nangala started painting in 1996 and in 2009 she won the General Painting Award in the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islands Art Awards. Her paintings depict topographic renderings of her birthplace, Mukula. Yinarupa and her family lived and travelled throughout this region until 1963, when they met up with a Northern Territory welfare patrol led by Jeremy Long. Yinarupa was taken to the settlement at Papunya, where she attended school and subsequently married the late Yala Yala Gibbs Tjungurrayi.

Yondee Shane Hansen Artist Profile Picture

Yondee Shane Hansen


Region: South West Western Australia

Yondee Shane Hansen is a Noongar artist, born in 1964 in the south-west of Western Australia at Dumbleyung, 270 km south of Perth. He grew up around Narrogin and later on the Swan River near Guildford on the outskirts of Perth. The story of his early life and his attraction to painting gives a sense of how his own life story feeds into his role as an Aboriginal artist.

Yondee Shane Hansen was taught about hunting and shown sand drawings by his father. Around the age of ten he would travel and visit his aunties on the Swan River and would collect paper bark to help them in their art work. It was here that he started to learn about art from his older relatives who are known for their painting on paper- bark.

Talking about his art practice today, Yondee Shane Hansen says: “I make sand paintings, collecting sand from the creeks. You have to wash it to get the salt out, but the sand is different out of the creeks, its smoother, it’s good to use. When I make sand paintings using black and white, it’s gives that simple strong message.”

An experienced and accomplished artist, Yondee Shane Hansen has developed ways of working with sand and ochres to depict the stories and legends of his people. Aboriginal art status – Recognised artist.