Born out in the desert at Watulka circa 1938, Ningura Napurrula was the daughter of
Ngintjingintji Tjakamarra (older brother of John Tjakamarra). When Ningura met up with Jeremy
Long’s 1962 Welfare Branch patrol, she was already a young woman in her twenties, married to the late Yala Yala Gibbs Tjungurrayi with a young son, Mawitji (Morris).
The small family was transported into Papunya so that Mawitji could receive hospital treatment for severe burns. They were subsequently repatriated to the desert by another patrol, and the following year (1963), they walked back into Papunya from the Kiwirrkurra area with the rest of their family group. With Yala Yala and their four surviving children, Ningura moved back to Kintore in the early 1980s and later to Kiwirrkurra when the settlement was established.
When the painting movement in Papunya began, Yala Yala was a founding member of the arts cooperative and Ningura had assisted him with his paintings. Having observed her husband painting for over two decades, Ningura began painting in May 1995 and Yala Yala’s influence was evident in her works. Her work is reminiscent of Yala Yala’s early paintings in bold, detailed drawing accentuated by dense monochrome infilling, but the dotting has its own character and the subject matter is as strongly charged with serious women’s business as Yala Yala’s was with the men’s side of the Law…..
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