aboriginal artist: Nyurapayia Nampitjinpa (aka Mrs Bennett)

Nyurapayia Nampitjinpa, also known as Mrs. Bennett,  was born around 1935.  She was born  in Yumara, north of Docker River, W.A. and later moved to Kintore.  Her husband was John Bennett Tjapangati (c.1930-2002), one of the original artists at Papunya in the 1970’s.

In the early 1990s Mrs. Bennett commenced her painting career. In 1994, Mrs B, Naata Nungurrayi and other senior women from Haasts Bluff and Kintore, were introduced to painting materials for a collaborative project on canvas.  From this collaboration came ‘Minyma Tjukurrpa’ (1995), held at the Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute.

Mrs B inherited her mother’s dreamings, which are connected to sites at Yumarra, Wantjunga and Tjalilli, rockholes near Papunya, Pukara, Ngalkinginga and Munkara.  Her artworks are phenomenal, unique representations of her country.

She was deeply concerned with women’s culture, and her designs often depicted women’s ceremonies and rituals. The gathering of bush tucker such as Kampurarrpa (desert raisin) and quandong are also central themes.

Mrs Bennett’s work is included in the collections of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, The Art Gallery of NSW, Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, National Gallery of Victoria, Artbank and in corporate and private collections internationally.

Mrs Bennett passed away in January 2013 near her Country, Punkilpirri.


Art Bank, Sydney
Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney
Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
National Museum of Australia
Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide
Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane
Homes a Court Collection, Perth
Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth
Kelton Foundation, Santa Monica, USA
Donald Kahn Collection USA
Gantner Myer Collection, San Francisco, USA
Aboriginal Art Museum, The Netherlands