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Nyurapaiya Nampitjinpa (Mrs Bennett)

The Travels of a Group of Women - 2003

synthetic polymer paint on Belgian linen
122.0 x 90.5 cm
Price Realised: $7,320.00

MP #778


Papunya Tula Artists, NT Cat. No. NN0308068
Lauraine Diggens Fine Art, Vic Cat. No. 220046


Australian Aboriginal Art: DFAT Olympic Exhibition, Sao Paolo and Rio de Janiero, Brazil, 2014
Beyond Time, Booker-Lowe Gallery, Houston USA, 2019

Nyurapayia Nampitjinpa was born in Pitjantjatjara country, near the site of today's Docker River community. She saw no white men until she was in her teens and spent much of her childhood at Pangkupirri, a set of sheltered rockholes deep in the range-folds of the Gibson Desert. By the time she walked in from the bush to the ration depot at Haasts Bluff and encountered mission life, she had become a magic healer and was soon recognised as a person of great ritual authority. She moved to Kintore, the new western settlement of the Pintupi closer to her traditional lands, and then on to Tjukurla, across the West Australian border in the 1980s. Nyurapayia, was a close associate of the key painters who shaped the women's painting movement in the early to mid 1990s.


Her depiction's of the sand-dune country and surrounding rocky outcrops bear a relationship to the designs used for body painting during the inma ceremonial dance. At the time of her death in February 2013, Nyurapayia had reached the pinnacle of desert law and sacred knowledge and was revered by women throughout the Western Desert.