Artist Profile

Elizabeth Nyumi

1st January 1947



Pintupi and English


Nyumi’s mother belonged to the country of Nynmi near Kiwirrkurra on the Pintupi side. Her father was from Alyarra in the region of Ngaanyatjarra. When Nyumi was a very young child her mother died at the Kanari soakwater close to Jupiter Well. As a young girl, Nyumi lived a nomadic existence with her family group in their country, before, as a teenager, walking up the Canning Stock Route into the old mission with her father and family group. Here she was given clothes and taken to Billiluna Station and trained as a domestic worker and subsequently travelled to many station houses around the region working for the station managers’ wives.

Nyumi is a very strong culture woman, dancer and an enthusiastic teacher of culture to children, ensuring the traditional dances and songs are kept alive. Nyumi had four daughters and three of them are still living and beginning to paint, which is strongly encouraged by Nyumi.  Brandy Tjungurrayi and Patrick Olodoodi, both senior Law men and recognised artists, are Nyumi’s older brothers.

Nyumi commenced painting in 1987 and began to emerge as a leading artist in the late 1990s. Her paintings are mainly concerned with the country of abundant bush food belonging to her family. Initially she worked with a thick brush, covering the canvas in emanating lines in muted tones. Her style has now developed to using a multitude of dotting to build up fields of texture but retains her signature motifs of small camps, coolamons and bush tucker trees and scrubs. Throughout her career Nyumi has had solo exhibitions travelling interstate and overseas to attend her exhibition openings. In 2004 Nyumi became the first artist represented by Warlayirti Artists to be selected for the Biennale of Sydney, and since this time she has been included in numerous prestigious exhibitions.


2013          Seoul Open Arts Fair, Korea. (Group Exhibition via Desart, Alice Springs, NT  
2013Traversing Borders: Art from the Kimberley, QUT Art Museum, Brisbane, QLD
2013Balgo Survey, Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne, VIC