Yingarupa Nangala

Born: c.1961
Location: Kiwirrkura region
Language: Pintupi
Subjects and Themes(Dreaming): Ngaminya – Ancestral Country

Yinarupa Nangala is a Pintupi woman who was born “bush” at Mukula, across the WA border in the region of today’s settlement of Kiwirrkurra. She is variously reported to have been born around 1948 and 1961, birthing records not being available. Yinarupa is more likely to have been born in the early 1960s and is the daughter of one of Papunya Tula Artists greats, Anatjari Tjampitjinpa. Yinarupa Nangala was a co-wife with, amongst others, 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.

Yinarupa Nangala is a second generation Papunya Tula artist. Both her father, the late Anatjari Tjampitjinpa and her brother Ray James Tjangala, are well respected Papunya Tula painters. She has been painting since 1996 and in 2009 was the winner of the Telstra and Torres Strait Islander Painting Award for Mukala, the painting of a rockhole site of Mukala, east of Jupiter Well in Western Australia.

It has only been in recent times that she has leapt into the public eye. In particular, 2009 saw her austere style finally be recognized for what it is, classic Pintupi art at its best. Yinarupa Nangala, a mother of 5, spends her time between her community of Kiwirrkurra and in Alice Springs.

Yinarupa’s paintings reveal a sensitive layering of line and colour with circles and dots that seem to float over the surface of the canvas. Her works are inspired by her country, often topographic renderings of her birthplace Mukula. Her paintings also refer to the Dreaming path of a group of senior women (‘Tingari women’) who travelled through Mukula gathering bush foods that are still abundant in the region today. During ancestral times a large group of women came from the west and stopped at this site to perform the ceremonies associated with the area. The women, later continued their travels towards the east, passing through Ngaminya, Kiwirrkurra and Wirrulnga on their way to Wilkinkarra (Lake Mackay). As the women travelled they gathered a variety of bush foods including kampurarrpa berries (desert raisin) from the small shrub Solanum centrale, and pura (bush tomato) from the plant Solanum chippendalei.

Kampurarrpa berries can be eaten directly from the plant but are sometimes ground into a paste and cooked on the coals as a type of damper, while pura is roughly the size of an apricot and, after the seeds have been removed, can be stored for long periods by halving the fruit and skewering them onto a stick. The shapes in the painting represent the features of the country through which they travelled as well as the bush foods they gathered.

2007 – Yinarupa Nangala: Paintings From 2002-2007, John Gordon Gallery, Coffs Harbour, NSW.
2012 Tjukurrpa Ngaatjanya Maru Kamu Tjulkura (Dreaming in Black and White), at the Red Dot Fine Art Gallery, Singapore.
2011 – Papuya Tula Women’s Art, at the Maitland Regional Art Gallery, NSW.
2008 – Papunya Tula Artists 2008, Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne. 20 years of Papunya Tula at Utopia Art Sydney.
2007 – Kiwirrkura Women, Utopia Art Sydney; Papunya Tula Women, Suzanne O’Connell Gallery, Brisbane; Rising Stars, 2007, Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne
2005 – Pintupi Women’s Work, Indigenart (location not given)
2002 – Cooee Aboriginal Art, Sydney
2001-2002 – Espiritualidad y Arte Australiano Aborigen, sponsored by the Comunidad de Madrid, Spain, touring 17 venues in regional Madrid and Australia.

2009 26th Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award, Darwin.
2009 Finalist – Western Australian Art Prize, Perth
2010 Finalist – Western Australian Art Prize, Perth
2014 Finalist – Wynne Prize, AGNSW
2015 Finalist 32nd Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award, Darwin

Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne