Collection: Mitjili Napurrula

Born: c 1945 – 2019
Language: Pintupi
Region: Haasts Bluff
Dreaming: Uwalki Watiya Tjuta

Mitjili Napurrula was a Pintupi woman from the Haasts Bluff region, located 200 km west of Alice Springs. She was born about 1945 and is half sister to artist Turkey Tjupurrula Tolson. She married Long Tom Tjapanangka at Papunya in the 1960’s, and they later lived at Haasts Bluff and Mt Liebeg. She is the daughter of Tjunkiya Napaltjarri (deceased), a respected artist from Kintore. Mitjili began painting at the Ikuntji Women’s Centre in 1992. She paints her father’s country called Uwalki which lies in the Gibson Desert near the Kintore Ranges, west of Haasts Bluff. This country is characterised by red sandhills, bushes and trees including the beautiful desert oaks. Mitjili was taught some of her key imagery by her mother drawing patterns in the sand. She says: “My mother taught me my father’s Tjukurrpa; that’s what I’m painting on the canvas”.

Mitjili’s canvases are patterned with strong, vibrant colours, and contain an incredible energy. This style has gained her a strong following within Australia and internationally. Mitjili’s distinctive painting style and designs are based on her father’s country called Uwalki, an area west of Haasts Bluff near the Kintore Ranges. The Dreaming stories (Tjukurrpa) behind the paintings relate to the making of spears – an important aspect of “men’s business”. The patterns represent the women’s side of this Tjukurrpa, showing the trees (Watiya Tjuta) that provide the wood for spear shafts and other objects.

Mitjili passed away in April 2019. She will always remain part of Corroboree Dream Art family.