1954, south of Nynmi, WA
Wirrimanu (Balgo), WA
Imelda (Yunkenbarri) Gugaman
Imelda walked into the Old Balgo Mission with her mother, accomplished painter Lucy Yukenbarri (c.1934-2003), as a small child and lived for a few years in the dormitories at the Mission. She was looked after by the nuns and has fond memories of this time. She attended the government school at Balgo until 1969. She then lived for a short time in Beagle Bay where she met her husband. They started a family there and after her second child they moved back to Balgo and had two more children. She spent a lot of time with her mother, Lucy, who would explain the importance of passing on the stories they were painting to the children of the family. When Imelda’s husband passed away she lived in Mulan for a short time and then moved back to Balgo, where she lives now. Today she looks after her step-father renowned artists Helicopter Tjungurrayi.
Imelda is proud to carry on the legacy of the painting style and stories of her mother. As well as painting in the Art Centre every day, Imelda is an active member of the community and has served on the Warlayirti Board of Directors for many years. She has travelled around Australia and overseas with her art. A highlight for Imelda was travelling to Melbourne to attend the opening of “Warlayirti: The Art of Balgo” (2014) and dance with other Balgo artists at the National Gallery of Victoria in St Kilda.