Ruth Nungarrayi Spencer was born in 1969 and is from Yuendumu Community, approximately 3 hours from Alice Springs in Central Australia. Ruth is a Warlpiri woman and artist, although her artistic talent does not only focus on painting but also bead work and lino-cut prints.
Ruth has spent much of her life living in her traditional community of Yuendumu attending the local primary school within the community. She moved to Alice Springs to attend high school and further studying to receive her qualification in administrative work. As an adult she has worked for the Community Development Employment Project in Lajamanu (another Warlpiri community) as well as the Yuendumu Library and the Shire Council. She is also the author of “Kinki-Kirli” a bilingual resource and story for Warlpiri children, which was published in 1989.
She is the mother of four children and has been painting with Warlukurlangu – Artists of Yuendumu for a number of years. Her grandparents would tell her stories of her Jukurrpa (Dreaming) but it was her grandmother/big sister Daisy Napanangka Nelson (who sadly passed away in 2001) who taught her the Yanjitlpirri Jukurrpa (Star Dreaming). Ruth is most well known for her depictions of this Dreaming however she uses a variety of themes in her artworks including various bush tucker and native animals found in Warlpiri country.
Ruth spends her time between visiting family in Lajamanu, Balgo and Kalkaringi as well as living in Yuendumu. She continues to paint whilst also enjoying her family and other hobbies.
Her paintings have been featured in several group exhibitions by galleries in Australia and overseas and Central Art.