c.1935-2017, Lilbaru, Great Sandy Desert, WA
Wirrimanu (Balgo), WA
Well 33, Gibson Desert, WA
Wompi was born in the Great Sandy Desert in a place called Lilbaru. This 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 painted together as is common with husband and wives in Balgo. They spent some time in Fitzroy Crossing until her husband passed. Wompi then decided to return to Well 33, where she painted with Martumili and continued to reside until she passed in 2017. 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 the paintings which are full of charm and beauty.
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