Narpula Scobie Napurrula Paintings

Narpula Scobie Napurrula - Pintupi artist b.1950, sister of Turkey Tolson Tjupurrula, resides Mt Liebig- paints Women’s Dreaming stories

Narpula Scobie Napurrula was born near Haasts Bluff in 1950, and grew up there before later moving onto Pintupi homelands around Papunya and then later to Kintore. Narpula Scobie Napurrula’s parents were Toba Tjakamarra and Nganyima Napaltjarri, and her brother was the late artist Turkey Tolson Tjupurrula.

Narpula was married to Johnny Scobie Tjapanangka and assisted him by painting backgrounds to his paintings as well as starting to paint her own works at Papunya in 1982. During this time, until the mid 1990s, Narpula Scobie Napurrula was the only woman Pintupi artist working in any of the communities of Papunya, Kintore and Kiwirrkura.

When her husband Johnny Scobie Tjapanangka died in 2000, Narpula Scobie Napurrula moved to the community of Mt Liebig with her daughter-in-law Fabrianne Peterson, who had also begun painting alongside Narpula in the late 1980s. Narpula Scobie Napurrula has mostly worked as an independent artist since 2000, and her paintings had been exhibited internationally in UK and China in the later 1980s.

Narpula Scobie Napurrula paints subjects associated with the Dreaming stories of her brother Turkey Tolson Tjupurrula, as well as images of Women’s ceremonies and ritual body painting motifs. One of the women’s stories relates to the ancestral women who travelled from the south at Mitukatjirra travelling to Ngutjul then on to locations to the north-west.

Narpula Scobie Napurrula currently lives at Mt Liebig with her children and grandchildren. Narpula feels very strongly about her cultural beliefs and this clearly comes through in her painting. She encourages younger generations to learn about their culture and Dreamings, telling the ancient stories both in ceremonial sand painting and with painting on canvas.

Selected Collections

  • Australian Museum, Sydney NSW
  • South Australian Museum, Adelaide SA
  • Robert Holmes à Court Collections, WA
  • Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide SA
  • Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane QLD
  • Artbank NSW
  • Flinders Art Museum, Adelaide SA
  • Richard Kelton Art Collection, Santa Monica, USA
  • Thomas Vroom Collection

Selected Exhibitions

  • 1988 Art and Aboriginality, Portsmouth
  • 1988 Australian Art Exhibition touring China
  • 1995 Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs NT
  • 1998 Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs NT
  • 1999 Flinders Art Museum, Flinders University, Adelaide SA
  • 2000 Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs NT
  • 2003 Chapel on Chapel Gallery, Melbourne VIC
  • 2005 Watiyawanu Artists, Japingka Gallery Fremantle WA
  • 2006 Watiyawanu, Bond Aboriginal Art, Adelaide SA
  • 2006 Australian Aboriginal Art 2006/2007, John Gordon Gallery, Sydney NSW
  • 2007 Watiyawanu Artists of Amunturrngu, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA