Warlayirti Artists, Balgo Hills, WA Cat. No. 1213/03
Cooee Art Gallery, NSW Cat. No. 1530
The Anne and Adrian Newstead Private Collection, NSW
accompanied by a certificate of authenticity from Warlayirti Artists
Eubena Nampitjin began painting in 1988 alongside her second husband Wimmitji Tjapangarti. Their early works portrayed Dreaming sites, country and ancestral travels in the most intimate cartographic detail and are to this day the very finest paintings that have ever emanated from the Balgo Hills community.
After the death of her daughter Ema Gimme Nungurrayi in 1993, Eubena returned to her birthplace near Well 33 on the Canning Stock Route and did not paint again until encouraged to return to Balgo Hills two years later. From that time on she painted alone with larger, freer dots and a more gestural style executed with a palate of red, yellow and pink. In time these late career works became more akin to finger painting with fluid brushstrokes and only the occasional intimate section actually dotted with a stick.
While Balgo’s physical isolation has conferred the space to evolve a distinct and unique artistic style, Eubena’s own separation from her homeland manifested as an art of absence, an act of homage which crystallised the poignancy of her country. The sense of raw energy and spontaneity in her work, with her trademark use of vibrant colour, bold patterning, and rough and ready handling, creates an ‘extraordinary sense of presence,’ that overrides any connotations of the work as an object of anthropological significance and invites the viewer ‘to appreciate pictures for their immediate visual impact as works of contemporary art’*
In this work Eubena painted her country along the middle stretches of the Canning Stock Route, near Kunawarritji (Well 33) and a pamarr (hill) named Yilpa. This is place where Eubena would often hunt and gather food. The strong lines in the painting depict the tali (sandhills) that dominate this country.
* John McDonald, Sydney Morning Herald, 25 Feb, 1995Share