Nyurapayia Nampitjinpa, affectionately known as Mrs Bennett. (born circa 1935 – 2013)
One of the great characters of the Kintore region, Mrs Bennett’s paintings are executed with the same energy, cheer and enthusiasm that she exhibits in life. Painting and exhibiting since the mid-1990’s, Mrs Bennett was instrumental in the development of the Haasts Bluff/Kintore Women’s Painting Camp in 1994.
Mrs Bennett paints her mother’s Dreamings which are connected to sites at Yumarra, Wantjunga and Tjalilli rockholes near Papunya, Pukara, Ngalkinginga and Munkara rockholes. She is deeply concerned with women’s culture, and her designs often depict women’s ceremonies and rituals. The gathering of bush tucker such as Kampurarrpa (desert raisin) and quandong are also central themes.
Mrs Bennett favours the use of strong contrasts using blacks and pale yellows/creams set in relief often against a red ground. Her designs are based on the stories relating to women’s ceremony and regularly depict the gathering of traditional bush foods and the rituals connected with their preparation.
The depictions of the sand dune country and surrounding rocky outcrops bear a relationship to the designs used for body painting during the ceremonial dance referred to as ‘inma’.
Nyurapayia Nampitjinpa was named among the top 50 of Australia’s Most Collectable Artists in March 2001 issue of Australian Art Collector.
Having been exhibited widely across Australia, Singapore and Germany, 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.
This snake lives in the swamps and lakes near Nyrippi (Talarada), unoccupied ‘dangerous territory’ north west of Mt. Liebig. The transcendental calm of her paintings, with their drifts of monochrome clouds of dots, belie the danger of the land and its creatures that they depict.
Her works are often characterised by the use of oval shapes representing swamps and lakes. The dotted forms represent the ground cracking as water dries up.
Other themes in her work include the sand hills of the desert country.