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Lucy Napanangka Yukenbarri

Tjintjula Soak - 1997

synthetic polymer paint on Belgian linen
120.0 x 80.0 cm
Price Realised: $4,392.00

MP #377


Warlayirti Artists, WA Cat Nu. 673/97
Songlines Aboriginal Art, San Francisco USA Cat No. TDB16
Bonhams, Aboriginal Art, Sydney, June 2011, Lot No. 133
Private Collection, NSW


accompanied by a Warlayirti Artists certificate of authenticity

The first painters in the remote community of Wirrimanu (Balgo Hills) were the last generation to undergo full initiation and live a traditional nomadic life in the bush before encountering Europeans. Balgo lies at the meeting of three great deserts (The Great Sandy, The Tanami and The Gibson) and is home to more than ten different tribal groups.


During her lifetime, Lucy Yukenbarri was considered to be one of the most innovative and daring of the Balgo women painters. Laying down fields of intense colour with a thick, painterly texture was a hallmark of her work. Though her brushwork appears to be linear, the bands of colours are actually merged dots that she referred to as ‘kinti kinti’ (close, close). They dry quickly in the intense heat, building a chromatic density that has no time for gentle gradations or blended hues. The result is a rich immediacy of contrast and resonance.

This work depicts a central rockhole in the Great Sandy Desert. It is surrounded by sand dunes, rich in bush food, particularly Pura, a wild bush tomato. The artist has painted the fruits around the edges of the painting.

Lucy Yukenbarri was a senior law woman with an irreplaceable knowledge of the ancient places, ceremonies and narratives. She died in 2003.