acrylic on linen
62 x 55cm unframed
Inyuwa Nampitjinpa was born at Punkilpirri, a major rockhole site south of the Tjukula community and north-west of Docker River, in approximately 1920. Nampitjinpa and her family moved to the Pintupi homelands community of Walungurru (Kintore) in 1981, soon after its establishment, and became involved with the Haasts Bluff/Kintore women's painting project in 1994. As an elder of the community, Nampitjinpa assumed a supervisory role regarding the portrayal of women's ceremonial subject matter, reminiscent of that taken by the senior men early on in the history of the Papunya movement.
In 1997, Nampitjinpa had an operation to remove cataracts, which dramatically improved her eyesight, and she began painting regularly. Nampitjinpa's paintings helped establish the signature style of senior women's painting at Walungurru. Their dense, tactile surfaces, applied with a roughness and sheer volume of paint, exceeded those of any previous practitioners in the Desert style. As seen in Untitled (Pukunya), 1999, her work retained only the most basic elements of traditional imagery, referencing rockholes, campsites and women's utensils simplified to the point of abstraction. The large permanent water site of Punkilpirri, south west of Tjukula, was a recurrent subject.
Nampitjinpa was the mother of Walangkura Napanangka and Pirrmangka Napanangka, both artists. Nampitjinpa passed away in June 1999.
About the work
This painting depicts designs associated with the rockhole site of Pukunya, which is west of Umari and east of Mt Webb in Western Australia. A large group of women passed through this site during their travels further east. They gathered the edible berries and seeds growing in the area through which they passed.
From Viven Johnson in Tradition today: Indigenous art in Australia, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2004.
Work in the Allens collection
acrylic on linen, 62 x 55cm unframed