Life:  c. 1938 to 2013

Born:  Watulka, Kiwirrkurra, WA

Language/Country:  Ngaatjatjarra/Kintore, NT.

Ningura was born circa 1938 at Watulka, located to the south of the Kiwirrkurra Community and to the west of Alice Springs. Her first journey out of the desert was in 1962 with the Northern Territory Welfare Branch patrol, when her son needed medical treatment at Papunya. She travelled with her son and her husband, Yala Yala Gibbs Tjungurrayi back to Kiwirrkurra later that year. The following year Ningura and her family group returned to Papunya, this time as part of a migration of the Pintupi people due to drought.

Ningura began painting by working at her husband’s direction, dotting the background of his works, and then in her own right following the 1996 Kintore Women's Painting Project. She had her first solo exhibition in 2000 and participated in the prestigious Kintore Women's Painting for the Papunya Tula retrospective at the Art Gallery of NSW. Her three children, two sons Morris Gibson Tjapaltjarri (Mawitji) and Adam Gibbs Tjapaltjarri, and her daughter, Glenys Napaltjarri, are all artists.

Ningura's status as a premier artist was cemented when she was chosen as the sole female desert artist among eight artists to have their work incorporated into the architecture of the acclaimed Musee du quai Branly in Paris which opened in 2006.  The Museum features Ningura’s women’s story on the ceiling of the first floor. In 2003 Ningura was one of five artists to have her artwork featured on a range of Australia Post international stamps.  As well as the Musee du quai Branly, Ningura is represented in major public galleries both nationally and internationally. Australian Art Collector magazine, lists Ningura Napurrula as one of Australia's most collectable artists.

Significant Collections:

  • National Gallery of Australia
  • Musee du quai Branly
  • Art Gallery of New South Wales

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