Eunice Napanangka Jack
Eunice Napanangka Jack, senior artist at Haasts Bluff, born 1940 near Tjukurla in WA, paints at Ikuntji Arts – traditional stories of Country
Eunice Napanangka Jack is a senior Ngaanyatjarra artist working at Haasts Bluff in Central Australia. Eunice was born in 1940 at Lupul near Tjukurla in Western Australia near the border with Northern Territory. Her family walked across the desert towards the east where ration stations had been set up during a period of serious drought in the Central Desert. They stayed at the community at Haasts Bluff and Eunice grew up there.
Eunice Napanangka Jack has had a long association with the art movement that began in the Central Desert in the early 1970s. Her father Tutuma Tjapangarti, was one of the early artists painting in the Men’s group at Papunya. Then Eunice helped her husband Gideon Tjupurrula Jack with his paintings for Papunya Tula during the 1970s. Eunice began creating her own paintings in 1992 when the the Ikuntji Women’s Centre opened and many of the women started their own careers as major artists there.
Eunice’s mother was from the Warlpiri country east of Lake MacKay at Winparrku, and many of the stories that Eunice paints come from her mother’s side of the country. Often these are interpretations of the desert sandhills and the bush flowers and plants that were part of the native food resources of the land. Eunice shares these stories along with stories of the Country she inherits on her father’s side, including Lupul, Tjukurla, Kurulto and Tjila.
Eunice describes her early life in this way: “I was born at Kuruyultu, near the rockhole there… We left that place, Kuruyultu. My father, my mother, my big sister and my father’s brother, we all left together and went to Haasts Bluff. I grew up in Haasts Bluff. I have been back to Kuruyultu for visits but I never lived there again in my country. I think about it every day.”
Eunice continues to record the Tjukurrpa, the Country and the memories of her traditional lands. Her artworks are held in major collections in Australia and internationally. Eunice Jack remains an important figure in her community, sharing cultural knowledge and traditional bush skills, as well as her painting and story-telling.
- National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
- Museum and Art Gallery of Northern Territory, Darwin
- Flinders University, Adelaide
- Supreme Court of the Northern Territory, Darwin
- Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet Art Collection, Canberra, ACT
- Bailleau Myer, de Young Museum, San Francisco, USA
- Thomas Vroom-Sammlung, Amsterdam, NL
- Ganter Myer Collection, Fine Arts Museum, San Francisco, USA
- Campbelltown Regional Gallery, Campbelltown, NSW
- University of Tasmania, Hobart
- Moreton Bay Region Art Collection, Caboolture, QLD
- Gabrielle Pizzi Collection, Melbourne