Parwalla, Alyarra, Nynmi (Gibson Desert)
Elizabeth 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. Even as a young girl, Nyumi lived a nomadic existence with her family group in their country. As a teenager, she walked 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. She subsequently travelled to many station houses around the region working for the wives of station managers.
Nyumi was a very strong culture woman, dancer and an enthusiastic teacher of culture to children, ensuring that traditional dances and songs were kept alive. Nyumi had four daughters and three of whom have begun to paint, something which was strongly encouraged by Nyumi. Brandy Tjungurrayi and Patrick Olodoodi, both senior Law men and distinguished 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, abundant of bush food belonging to her family. Initially she worked with a thick brush, covering the canvas with emanating lines in muted tones. Her style developed into using dotting to build up fields of texture whilst retaining her signature motifs of small camps, coolamons and bush tucker trees and scrubs.
Nyumi had solo exhibitions in 2001, 2002 and 2003 and has travelled interstate and overseas to attend openings for her exhibitions. In 2004 Nyumi became the first artist represented by Warlayirti Artists to be selected for the Biennale of Sydney. Nyumi spent the final years of her life in frail aged care in Halls Creek, she sadly passed away in August 2019.