We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.





Eubena Nampitjin


circa 1925 – 11 Mar 2013

Language group: Wangkajunga, Western Desert region

Artist profile

  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    Wirrimanu (Balgo) Western Australia Australia
    Cultural origin
    Wirrimanu (Balgo)/Western Desert region
    Media category
    Materials used
    colour etching on paper
    50.0 x 40.0 cm image; 66.5 x 60.0 cm sheet
    Signature & date

    Signed l.r. beneath platemark, pencil "Jane Gimme [artist's daughter]". Not dated.

    Mollie Gowing Acquisition fund for Contemporary Aboriginal art 2014
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Estate of Eubena Nampitjin/Copyright Agency

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Eubena Nampitjin

    Artist profile

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Eubena Nampitjin was born in Tjinndjaldpa, south of Jupiter Well in the Great Sandy Desert, Western Australia. This area, on the Canning Stock Route and over 350 kilometres inland from Port Hedland, is one of the most remote places in Australia. Nampitjin had little contact with non-indigenous Australians until the late 1940s, when she travelled to Old Mission with her children and first husband. She moved with the mission in 1963 to its present site at Wirrimanu (Balgo). While at the mission, she has regularly returned to live in her country for extended periods.

    Nampitjin started painting in 1986, when women were becoming more broadly included in the growing art movement centred on Wirrimanu. Further impetus to paint came in 1989, when the new arts organisation, Warlayirti Artists, was formed. Nampitjin, her husband Wimmitji Tjapangarti and their daughters all painted, often collaboratively.

    To outsiders, Nampitjin's homeland in the heart of the Great Sandy Desert may appear desolate on a map; but for the artist, it provides her impetus to paint and is full of life and significance. The surface of 'Kinyu' 2013, is a metaphor for the surface of her country. She represents its sacred rocks, which are associated with Kurinyin, a dingo from the Tjukurrpa. She also depicts a number of waterholes that the artist and her family used when she was younger.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 2 exhibitions

Other works by Eubena Nampitjin

See all 7 works