Yinarupa Nangala

Yinarupa Nangala is a Pintupi woman who was born west of what is Kiwirrkurra community today, towards Jigalong. She is the daughter of one of Papunya Tula Artists great, Anatjari Tjampitjinpa; sister of Ray James Tjangala and half-sister (by Anatjari) to Mantua.

Yinarupa Nangala was a co-wife with, amongst other, Ningura Napurrula of another Papunya Tula great, Yala Yala Gibbs. Thus, she is also related by marriage into George Ward Tjungurrayi’s and Willy Tjungurrayi’s families.

Yinarupa started to paint in 1996, her motherhood duties being substantially complete. For some time she gained only moderate recognition for her works. This gradually changed in the late 2000s and by 2009 her somewhat austere style was finally being recognized for what it is, classic Pintupi art at its best.

Yinarupa Gibson Nangala was awarded the General Painting prize at the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islands Art Awards in 2009. It was major recognition for the artist who had been painting since 1996. Yinarupa has famous connections to the Aboriginal Art world – she is the daughter of Anatjari Tjampitjinpa, one of the first Papunya artists of the Central Desert art movement. Yinarupa Nangala was married to Yala Yala Gibbs Tjungurrayi, and is sister in law to George Ward Tjungurrayi and Willy Tjungurrayi. She has five children.

Yinarupa Nangala uses a classic Pintupi style to render her paintings of her birth country at Mukula, to the south-west of Jupiter Well in Western Australia. She clearly marks the iconography of the landmarks and sites used by her people, then in-fills the remaining spaces using fine dot painting using warm, pale colours. The painting takes on a movement of its own, as the viewer’s eye shifts across the vast number of signs and markings with hundreds of shimmering dots.

She paints the country around Mukula and the women’s ceremony associated with it. The story is passed down from her father’s mother. The shapes in the painting represent the features of the country, as well as bush foods. Women are represented by the ‘U’ shapes and kampararpa berries are represented by the circles.

The tree like shapes that run across her paintings are the trees used to make spears. This is Yinarupa’s unique representation of the story that Turkey Tolsen and his sister, Mitjili Napurulla, paint (both of whom are also family).


2021 Papunya 50 Years, 1971 – 2021, SmithDavidson Gallery Amsterdam, October 27 – December 12, 2021

2018 Sydney Contemporary 2018, Carriageworks, Sydney
2012 ‘Unique Perspectives: Papunya Tula Artists and the Alice Springs Community’, Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs, Australia
2011 ‘Papunya Tula Women's Art’, Maitland Regional Art Gallery, Maitland, Australia
2010 ‘Desert Country', Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia
2008 ‘Ngurra Yurru Kulintjaku - Always Remembering Country’, CCAE, Darwin, Australia
2008 ‘Papunya Tula Artists 2008’, Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne, Australia
2008 ‘Pintupi - Mixed Exhibitions’, Papunya Tula Artists, Alice Springs, Australia
2007 The Desert Mob Art Show, Araluen Art Centre, Alice Springs, Australia
2007 ‘Rising Stars’, Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne, Australia
2007 ‘Pintupi - Mixed Exhibitions’, Papunya Tula Artists, Alice Springs, Australia
2004 The Desert Mob Art Show, Araluen Art Centre, Alice Springs, Australia
2001 ‘Spirituality and Australian Aboriginal Art’, Comunidad de Madrid tourning exhibition, Spain

Born in *unknown* on November 30th, -0001

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