Eubena (Yupinya) Nampitjin is the best known of Warlayirti Artists’ many painters in Balgo Hills. She is one of the most esteemed law women in the community, being consulted and deferred to on all questions of law. Mukaka, Eubena’s mother, taught her Maparn (healer/witchdoctor) skills before she passed away, when Eubena was just a young girl. The family travelled and hunted, performing ceremonies and law for the upkeep of their country and their own spiritual preservation. Nomadic life was harsh and most of her extended family had passed away or moved to other parts of the country.
Eubena with her husband and family travelled up the Canning Stock Route to Billiluna Station before following the mission as it moved around, until arriving at its present site at Balgo Hills. Before his death, her husband Gimme helped Father Piele with a Kukatja (Eubena and Gimme’s second language) dictionary, to which Eubena also contributed. Today she is one of the few people alive who maintains a full vocabulary of this language. Despite living at the mission and tending herds of goats, Eubena continually traveled back to her country, living in and from the land for extended periods. Her extraordinary hunting instinct, which remains today, combines with an effortless energy when she is out in the country.
Eubena started painting with her second husband Wimmitji in the mid 1980s. Their work shared a luminous and intricate complexity along with a love of the warm reds, oranges and yellows that continues to be Eubena’s signature today. Eubena’s reputation grew, as one half of the famous painting duo at Balgo, but also as a solo artist in her own right. Eubena has a spontaneity and strength of brush mark that carves the paint, leaving rhythmical tracks across the canvas. Her work resonates with the power of place and pride in country that Eubena has been able to maintain throughout her life, a life that has evolved from hard, proud desert nomad to an artist feted in Australia and overseas. A regal character, she is both iron strong and unfailingly generous. Painting is like her second language and she paints persistently with passion and dedication.
Subject & Themes
Kinyu Spirit dogs, Tjukarra (rock holes) and Tjumu (soaks) along the Canning Stock Route, Watikutjarra (two men dreaming)
Malu (kangaroo dreaming), Kantilli (bush raisins) and Purra (bush tomato), Tingari Tjukurrpa (Dreamtime Ancestral journeys)
Women’s Law ceremonies, Goanna, mouse, moon and dingo dreaming, Karnaputta and Kunarwaritji
National Gallery of Australia
National Gallery of Victoria
Art Gallery of New South Wales
Art Gallery of Western Australia
Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory
The Holmes a Court Collection
Helen Read Collection
The Laverty Collection
2002 Balgo Hills, Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne.
2002 Desert Mob, Araluen Centre, Alice Springs.
2002 19th NATSIAA, Museum and Art Gallery of NT, Darwin.
2002 Balgo Hills Artists 2002, Art Mob, Aboriginal Fine Art, Hobart.
2002 Art from Balgo, Gallery Gondwana, Alice Springs.
2002 Balgo Hills: An artist’s survey, Hogarth Galleries, Sydney.
2002 Big Colour My Country, Thornquest Gallery, Gold Coast.
2001 Opening Exhibition, Thornquest Gallery, Gold Coast.
2001 Beyond Wings, Flinders University Art Museum, Adelaide.
2001 All About Art, Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne.
2001 Desert Mob, Araluen Centre, Alice Springs.
2001 18th NATSIAA, Museum and Art Gallery of NT, Darwin.
2001 Kutjungka, Bett Gallery, Hobart.
2001 Balgo Works, Staedtische Gallery, Wolsfburg, Germany.
2001 Recent Works by Artists from Balgo Hills, Ochre Gallery, Collingwood, Victoria.
2001 Balgo Artists Return to Country, Vivien Anderson Gallery, Melbourne.
2001 Spirituality and Australian Aboriginal Art, Alcaston Gallery, Madrid, Spain 2000 The Westside: Images in Ochre and Colour, Coo-ee II Exhibiting Gallery, Yuwayi Art Precinct, World Square, Sydney.
2000 Olympic Exhibition, Coo-ee Exhibiting Gallery, Yuwayi Art Precinct, World Square, Sydney.
2000 Balgo Hills, Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne.
2000 17th NATSIAA, Museum Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin.
2000 Melbourne Artfair 2000, Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne.
2000 Waltja – Family, Hogarth Galleries, Sydney.
2000 Accents Australiens,l’Espace Adamski Designs, Paris, France.
2000 Balgo Art, Gondwana Gallery, Alice Springs.
2000 Balgo Hills Aboriginal Paintings, Bett Gallery, Hobart.
2000 Dreaming in Colour: Australian Aboriginal Art from Balgo, Kluge Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection, Virginia, USA.
2000 Aboriginal Art, Galerie Bahr, Speyer, Germany.
1999 16th NATSIAA, Museum Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin.
1999 Aboriginal Art, IHK, Wurzburg, Germany.
1999 30th Alice Prize, Araluen Centre, Alice Springs.
1999 Mularrpa (True) Balgo, Framed, the Gallery, Darwin.
1999 Miliynyin, Hogarth Galleries, Sydney (special feature).
1999 Miliynyin, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle.
1998 Ngurrara: My Own Country, Hogarth Galleries, Sydney.
1998 15th NATSIAA, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin.
1998 The Laverty Collection, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney. 1998 A Thousand Journeys, Helen Read Collection, touring exhibition.
1998 14th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards, touring exhibition. 1997 ‘Yarrtji’ Six Women’s Stories from the Great Sandy Desert, Gallery Gondwana, Alice Springs. 1997 In Place (Out Of Time): Contemporary Art in Australia, Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, UK.
1997 14th NATSIAA, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin.
1997 Big Balgos: Recent Paintings by Warlayirti Artists, Hogarth Galleries, Sydney.
1997 New Paintings by Balgo Women, Vivien Anderson Gallery, Melbourne.
1997 Daughters of the Dreaming: Sisters Together Strong, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth.
1996 Songlines XV: Balgo Hills, Rebecca Hossack Gallery, London, UK. 1995 Stories: A Journey Around Big Things, Work by 11 Aboriginal Artists, touring, Sprengel Museum Hannover, Museum fur Volkerkunde Leipzig, Haus der Kulturen der Welt Berlin, Ludwig-Forum fur Internationale Kunst Aachen, Germany.
1995 Two Men Dreaming: New Art from Balgo Hills, Coo-ee Aboriginal Art Gallery, Paddington.
1995 Landscape as Language: Australian Perspectives Fine Art Gallery, Brisbane.
1994 Wirrimanu: Australian Aboriginal Art from Balgo Hills WA, Channing Gallery, Santa Fe, USA, in association with Adrian Newstead, Coo-ee Aboriginal Art Gallery, Paddington.
1994 Power of the Land: Masterpieces of Aboriginal Art, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.
1993 Images of Power: Aboriginal Art of the Kimberley, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.
1993 Australian Aboriginal Art, Salon de Sud-Est. City of Lyon, in conjunction with Dettinger Mayer Gallery; toured Gallerie Nurnaga, Neuchatel, France; Pujol Gallery, Barcelona, Spain.
1992 65e Salon du Sud-Est, Palais des Expositions, Lyon, France.
1992 Flash Art, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.
1992 Eubena and Wimmitji, Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi,Melbourne.
1991 Paintings by Senior Women from the Western Desert, Vivien Anderson Gallery, Melbourne.
1991 Aboriginal Women’s Exhibition, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney and travelling.
1991 Warlayirti Artists, Hogarth Galleries, Sydney.
1991 Some Aboriginal Women: a survey of Contemporary Women’s Art, Coo-ee Aboriginal Art Gallery, Paddington.
1991 Mulun: the Art of the Great Sandy Desert, Coo-ee Aboriginal Art Gallery, Paddington. 1990 Contemporary Aboriginal Art 1990: from Australia, touring Glasgow, Swansea and Manchester, UK.
1990 Contemporary Aboriginal Art 1990 from the Robert Holmes a Court Collection, touring USA.
1990 The Singing Earth, Chapman Gallery, Canberra.
1990 Eubena Nampitjin and Wimmitji Tjapanarti, Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne.
1990 Contemporary Aboriginal Art 1990 from Australia, Tagari Lia: My Family Festival, Third Eye Centre, Scotland.
1990 Paintings from Balgo WA, Hogarth Galleries, Sydney.
1989 Mythscapes: Aboriginal Art of the Desert, National Gallery of Victoria
1989 Warlayirti Artists: Continuing Links with Land, Coo-ee Aboriginal Art Gallery, Paddington.
1986 Art from the Great Sandy Desert, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth.
1998, Winner of Telstra Open Painting Award, 15th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin.
2002, McCulloch, S. The World from a Feminine Perspective, The Australian, 25 March.
2001, Borham, Susan (Editor-in-chief), Australian Art Collector Issue 15, Jan-March 2001, Australia’s 50 Most Collectable Artists (p.57); Collector’s Dossier: Yupinya Nampitjin (p.100), Gadfly Media Publications, Sydney.
1995, Brody, A., Krempel, U., Bahr, E., (eds), Stories, Eine Reise zu den grossen Dingen, exhibition catalogue, Sprengel Museum Hannover, Germany.
1994, Dream Journeys Calendar, image reproduction.
1994, Johnson, V., The Dictionary of Western Desert Artists, Craftsman House, East Roseville, NSW.
1991, Glowczewski, B., Yapa Peintres Aborigenes de Balgo et Lajamanu, Lebon Gallery, Paris.
1989, Ryan, J., Mythscapes: Aboriginal Art of the Desert from the National Gallery of Victoria, exhibition catalogue, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.