Artist Profile

Nora Wompi

1st January 1935



Kukatja and English


Wompi was born in the Great Sandy Desert in a place called Lilparu, which is close to Well 33 on the Canning Stock Route. Here she lived a traditional nomadic life until her early twenties. Wompi recalls it was near Well 33 that she saw a white person for the first time. Nomadic life was harsh during dry times and she tells of the long walk into the Balgo Mission with her mother and brother. In Balgo she cooked bread at the bakery and tended to the goats. This is also where she met her husband, the brother to fellow artist Lucy Yukenbarri.

Wompi and her husband, Dick Cowboy would paint together as is common with husband and wives in Balgo. They spent some time in Fitzroy Crossing until her husband passed away. Wompi then decided to return to Well 33 where she continues to reside today. However, she visits Balgo regularly to see family and to paint. Her work oscillates between intricate tracings of familiar country and painterly strokes of bold colour. Stories of spirit men, spirit dogs and love magic reverberate in her paintings full of charm and beauty.


2014     Warlayirti: The Art of Balgo RMIT Gallery, Melbourne, VIC  
2013      Nora Wompi, Suzanne O'Connell, Melbourne Art Fair, Melbourne, VIC  
2013ReGeneration, Whistlewood Gallery (McCulloch & McCulloch), Shoreham , VIC
2013Seoul Open Arts Fair, Korea (Group Exhibition via Alice Springs), NT