Tjawina Porter Nampitjinpa was born at Yumara, north of the Docker River, in Western Australia around 1950. She is a half sister to Nyurapayia Nampitjinpa (Mrs. Bennett) and full sister to Esther Giles Nampitjinpa, both important artists.
Tjawina grew up "in the bush" with her family. After her younger brother died, her family decided to move to the newly established government settlement of Papunya. Tjawina is now a widow and has returned to live in her country with family members including her sister Esther Giles Nampitjinpa and half sister Nyurapayia Nampitjinpa.
Tjawina was known for her skills as a traditional basket weaver before she rose to prominence as a painter. Tjawina paints her mother’s and her father’s Dreamings, which refer to the sites of Yumari, Pangkupirri, Tjukurla and Tjalili. These sites are important for ceremonies and as sources of water and important bush foods. She mainly uses a thickly layered style with a palette of predominantly whites, creams, browns and pastels. Recently she has moved into a new direction, employing a more refined style, creating epic landscapes built up with exquisite dot work. Next to being a gifted painter, Tjawina still occasionally weaves baskets and is also a noted carver.
2015 Signs and Traces. Contemporary Aboriginal Art. Cultural institute Zamek. Poznan, Poland
2018 'East meets West', SmithDavidson Gallery, Okt - Dec, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2021 Papunya 50 Years, 1971 - 2021, SmithDavidson Gallery Amsterdam, October 27 - December 12, 2021
Born in Yumara, Western Australia on November 30th, 1949