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Painting by Papunya Tula artist Kayi Kali Nampitjinpa


Kayi Kayi Nampitjinpa (b.1946)

Untitled, 2011

​46 x 38cm. Acrylic on linen Canvas.​

Provenance: Certificate of authenticity from arts centre


    Kayi Kayi Nampitjinpa was born in 1946 in her country of Kiwirrkurra which is North West of Alice Springs.


    Nampitjinpa was one of the second generation women artists whose early beginnings centred around assisting the male artists of Papunya—but who emerged with her own unique and sophisticated style. In 1996, She began painting in the Pintupi community at Kintore—founded in the early 1980’s when the Pintupi tribes left the government reservation at Papunya. Although already in her late fifties, Nampitjinpa is considered a young artist as she has only been painting since 1996.

    Nampitjinpa’s country is Kiwirrkura where she has custodial rights to paint her dreamings. She paints primarily rock hole dreaming and women's ceremony. The design elements in her paintings refer to the designs that the women paint on their bodies for ceremonies. The secret or sacred Tingari cycle provides the mythology underpinning her works.


    Nampitjinpa’s work is held in major public and private collections including; Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin, Hank Ebes Collection, Melbourne, Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs, Gantner Myer Collection, San Francisco, Artbank, Sydney, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne University of New South Wales, Sydney. She was a finalist in the 2000 17th NATSIAA, Darwin


    This painting depicts designs associated with the rockhole site of Ngaminya, to the south-west of the Kiwirrkura Community in Western Australia.


    The roundels in this painting represent the rockholes at this site while the adjoining lines depct the tali (sandhills) in the area.


    In ancestral times a group of women who travelled to Ngaminya from the west and later held ceremonies relating to the area. The women also collected the edible berries known as kampurarrpa or desert raising, which grow on the small shrub Solanum centrale. These berries can be eaten straight from the bush but are sometimes ground into a paste and cooked in the coals to form a type of damper. The rocky outcrop at the site is said to have been formed from mounds of these berries.

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