Born
c.19212013, Tjintalpa 

Community
Wirrimanu (Balgo), WA 

Skin
Nampijin

Language
KukatjaMantjiltjarraPutijarraWangkajunga

Country
Tjintalpa 

Eubena Nampitjin

Scroll down to read Eubena’s biography

Eubena Nampitjin

Eubena (Yupinya) is the best known of Warlayirti Artists’ many painters. She was one of the most esteemed law women in the community, being consulted and deferred to on all questions of law. Moogaga, 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.

Eubena along with her first husband (the late Gimme) and family travelled up the Canning Stock Route to Billiluna Station. From here, they followed the mission from location to location until it established the present site at Balgo. At the mission Eubena and Gimme helped Father Piele with a Kukatja dictionary. Late into her life, Eubena was one of the few people who maintained a full vocabulary of the Kukatja language. Despite living at the mission and tending herds of goats, Eubena continually travelled back to her country, living in and from the land for extended periods. Her extraordinary hunting instinct combined with an effortless energy when she was out on 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 continued to be Eubena’s signature palette. 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 had a spontaneity and strength of brush mark that carved the paint, leaving rhythmical tracks across the canvas. Her work resonates with the power of place and intimate knowledge of country that Eubena was able to maintain throughout her life. Painting was like her second language and she painted persistently with passion and dedication, weaving stories from the Tjukurrpa (Dreaming) as well as her personal history and knowledge. Throughout her painting career, Eubena travelled extensively to attend exhibition openings around the country.

Stories:

Wilkarinpa

This painting depicts some of Eubena’s traditional country. This country is located far to the south west of Balgo in The Great Sandy Desert, along the middle stretches of The Canning Stock Route. The three small, central circles are a series of waniri, or rockholes, which are found in the area. These waniri are called Kunkara, Kinyukilli and Kunkarra. The Tjukurrpa (Dreamtime) story for the area tells of ancestral dogs who travelled through here, stopping to drink at these rockholes. The majority of the painting depicts the talis, or sand dunes which dominate the landscape of the area.

Kunnawaritji

This painting depicts some of Eubena’s traditional country located in The Great Sandy Desert, south west of Balgo. This country is found along the middle stretches of the Canning Stock Route, around Well 33, or Kunnawaritji. The majority of the painting shows the talis, or sand dunes, which dominate the landscape of the area. At Kunnawaritji in the Tjukurrpa (Dreamtime) there was a big snake, Kunakoolingka, who lived under a rock. Ancestral people went to look for Kunakoolingka, digging under that rock, and found water. This water hole is shown in the centre of the painting.

Kinyu

This painting depicts some of Eubena’s traditional country located in The Great Sandy Desert, south west of Balgo. This country is found along the middle stretches of the Canning Stock Route, around Well 35. The majority of the painting shows the talis, or sand dunes, which dominate the landscape of the area. In the centre is shown the waniri, or rockhole, of Kinyu, which is important for the dog dreaming Tjukurrpa (Dreaming).

Midjul

Eubena has depicted some of her country south west of Balgo along the middle stretches of the Canning Stock Route. This country is near Kunawarritji (Well 33) in the Great Sandy Desert. The majority of this print depicts the tali (sandhills) that dominate the country. The circles represent tjurrnu (soakwaters) named Midjul. This is the country Eubena would often visit as a young girl.

Warlu

Eubena has painted some of her country found far to the south west of Balgo. This country is centred around Kunawarritji (Well 33), along the middle stretches of the Canning Stock Route. The large central circle is Warlu tjurrnu (soakwater) and the row of circles are small tjurrnu. The majority of the painting depicts the tali (sandhills) that dominate this country.

More info: https://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/collection/artists/nampitjin-eubena/

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