Eva Nelson Napaltjarri

Eva Nelson Napaltjarri, Warlpiri artist from Willowra in central Australia, fine dot paintings of Ngadajirri – Budgerigar Dreaming

Eva Nelson Napaltjarri is a Warlpiri artist living at Willowra in central Australia, about 330 kms from Alice Springs. Eva Nelson was born at Coniston Station and during her early life Eva and her siblings spent much of their time exploring their country. Following the death of their mother, the children were raised from an early age by their father. They learnt to hunt and survive off the land. Eva Nelson Napaltjarri also learnt the stories of their ancestors and the stories of their Dreaming, passed down through their father as it had been for millennia.

It was through their father that Eva Nelson Napaltjarri learnt the story of Ngadajirri – the budgerigar. This is her Dreaming. These Dreamings, as told to her by her father, took place around Carhudo, the area around Mt Denison. Eva and her siblings were encouraged by their father to paint this Dreaming as a means of reinforcing what they had learnt through traditional oral teaching.

Eva Nelson Napaltjarri began painting in 2003. Eva is mostly self-taught as an artist, introduced to painting by her father, the late Sonny Turner. Eva began applying herself to the artistic process from 2007. She now sees it as a vital means of maintaining a connection to the past while ensuring that this story is kept alive for future generations. This art form is now an extremely important part of Eva’s life; it is her means of cultural maintenance.

Between 2007 and 2011 Eva concentrated on exploring artistic options and refining her technique. Her first solo exhibition in April 2011 celebrated four years of exploration and hard work as she pushed her boundaries of artistic expression.

Selected Exhibitions

2009  Unwrapped09, United Galleries, Perth WA
2011  Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize, South Australian Museum, & National Archives of Australia, Canberra
2011  Ngadjarri,  Muk Muk Fine Art, Alice Springs NT
2011  Lethbridge 10,000 Art Prize, Brisbane QLD
2011  Paddington Art Prize, Sydney NSW
2014  Dot Code: Desert Artists, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA


2011   Highly Commended, Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize
2011   Highly Commended, Paddington Art Prize, Sydney NSW
2011   Finalist, Lethbridge 10,000 Art Prize, Brisbane QLD