aboriginal artist: Ningura Napurrula

View artworks by Ningura Napurrula

Ningura Napurrula (born c. 1938 – 2013 deceased), was born at Watulka, south of Kintore.

Ningura’s work is represented in the collection of Europe’s most important public museum Musée du quai Branly in Paris. Ningura’s paintings are featured in the museum’s permanent collection, in addition, her work is applied on the Musée du quai Branly ceiling, same as the world famous Michelangelo Sistine Chapel ceiling for the centuries of the future generations to appreciate it.

Ningura Napurrula work is represented in Canberra National Gallery of Australia, Art Gallery of NSW (Sydney), National Gallery of Victoria (Melbourne), Queensland National Art Gallery (Brisbane), Museum & Art Gallery Northern Territory (Darwin), Art Gallery of South Australia (Adelaide) and important collections around the world.

Born around 1938 at Watulka, south of the modern Kiwirrkura community, Ningura Napurrula moved to Papunya in the early days of the settlement with her husband. She was the wife of the renowned early movement artist and highly respected Pintupi elder the late Yala Yala Gibbs Tjungurrayi.

Ningura was part of the original group of the higher-ranking women from “Kintore” and “Kiwirrkura” who began painting for the famous Papunya Tula Artists which founded the Aboriginal Art Movement in 1971.

Characteristic of her work is a strong dynamism and rich linear design-compositions created with heavy layers of acrylic paint.

Ningura Napurrula is one of the most important and Australia’s most collectable artists (view the prestigious Australian Art Collector no. 37).


Ningura’s paintings depict mythological events of her female ancestors, the sacred sites that they passed and the bush tucker that they collected. The designs are associated with the rockhole sites of Palturunya and Wirrulnga, east of the Kiwirrkura Community (Mt. Webb) in Western Australia. The concentric circles represent rockholes and the arcs represent rock outcrops near the site. The lines coming from the rockholes represent water. The U shapes represent women camped at the site.

• Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
• Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, Canberra
• Gabrielle Pizzi Collection, Melbourne
• Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin
• National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
• National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
• Queensland National Art Gallery, Brisbane
• Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide
• Plus other important collections around the world ,

2000 – William Mora Galleries, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

• 2005 – Papunya Tula Artists, Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne.
• 2004 – Mythology and Reality – Contemporary Aboriginal Desert Art from
• the Gabrielle Pizzi Collection, Heidi Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne;
• Peintres Pintupi, Galerie DAD, Mantes-la-Jolie, France.
• 2003 – Glen Eira City; Mason Gallery at Japinka WA; Gabriella Pizzi,
• Melbourne; Australian Contemporary Aboriginal Art, Toskansky Place,
• Prague, Czech Republic; Masterpieces from the Western Desert, Gavin
• Gallery, London, UK.
• 2002 – Araluen Art Centre.
• 2001 – Telstra Art Award, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern
• Territory; Pintupi, Alice Springs; Aborigena, Palazzo Bricherasio, Turin, Italy.
• 2000 – Gabrielle Pizzie Melbourne; Papunya Tula: Genesis and Genius,
• Art Gallery of NSW .
• 1999 – Utopia Art Sydney.
• 1996 – Papunya Tula, Alice Springs.

• 2001, Finalist 18th Telstra NATSIAA
• 2002, 32nd Alice Prize, Highly Commended
• One of her works was depicted on an Australia Post postage stamp in 2003

In 2005 Ningura Napurrula was invited to paint a portion of the ceiling in the Musee du Quai Branly in Paris, France.
In January 2007 the Australian Art Collector magazine named Ningura in the top 50 most collectable artists.