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Ningura Napurrula


Tribe: Pintupi

Area: Central & Western Desert

Born: c. 1938

Ningura Napurrula was born at Watulka, south of Kiwirrkurra, Western Australia c.1938. She is the widow of Yala Yala Gibbs Tjungurrayi, a highly respected Pintupi elder who held significant knowledge of his countries Dreaming stories.

Ningura’s paintings depict designs associated with the rockhole sites of Palturunya and Wirrulnga, east of the Kiwirrkura Community (Mt. Webb) in Western Australia. The concentric cirlces represent rockholes and the arcs represent the higher rocky outcrops near the site. The U shapes represent women camped at the site.

Ningura depicts the mythological events of her ancestors. Her artworks focuses on the travels of her female ancestors, the sacred sites that they passed, and the mythological significance of the bush tucker that they collected. In mythological times, one old woman, Kutunga Napanangka, passed through this site during her travels towards the east. She passed through numerous sites along the way before arriving at the permanent water site of Muruntji, south west of Mt. Leibig. These travels and rituals help to explain the current customs and the ceremonial lives of these Pintupi women.


2000- Wiliam Mora Aboriginal Art

2001 - ‘Aborigena’ at the Palazzo Bricherasio, Turin, Italy 

2002- Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs

2003- Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne

2003 - ‘Australian Contemporary Aboriginal Art in Prague’, Toskansky Place, Prague, Czech Republic

2003 - ‘Masterpieces from the Western Desert’, Gavin Graham Gallery, London, United Kingdom



Australian Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, Canberra

Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin

National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney

redrock gallery, Melbourne.


• 2001, Finalist 18th Telstra NATSIAA

• 2002, 32nd Alice Prize, Highly Commended

• One of her works was depicted on an Australia Post postage stamp in 2003

In 2005 Ningura Napurrula was invited to paint a portion of the ceiling in the Musee du Quai Branly in Paris, France.


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