Mitjili Napurrula is a Pintupi artist from the Haasts Bluff region, located 200 km west of Alice Springs. She was born about 1945 and is half sister to the famous Aboriginal 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.
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.
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.
Japingka Gallery has exhibited the work of Mitjili Napurrula over a number of years including the exhibitions –
2011 In Black and White
2007 Mitjili Napurrula
2006 Towards Black & White
2005 Across Skin – Women Artists of the Western Desert
2004 Minnie Pwerle and Mitjili Napurrula
A selection of paintings by Mitjili Napurrula is available from Japingka Gallery, where collectors can buy Aboriginal art online with certainty of quality, authenticity and provenance of art works.