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.
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
© Eubena Nampitjin. Licensed by Copyright Agency
Shown in 2 exhibitions
Kuralka Tjanu Tjukurrpa: Kuwarra Marr Ku (Old stories: new creations), Nan Giese Gallery, Brinkin, 10 Aug 2013–30 Aug 2013
Wirrimanu: art from Balgo, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 27 Jul 2019–17 Nov 2019