One of the great characters of the Kintore region, Nyurapayia Nampitjinpa’s (aka Mrs Bennett) paintings were executed with the same energy, cheer and enthusiasm that she exhibited 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 painted her mother’s Dreamings which are connected to sites at Yumarra, Wantjunga and Tjalilli rockholes near Papunya, Pukara, Ngalkinginga and Munkara rockholes. 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 favoured the use of strong contrasts using blacks and pale yellows/creams set in relief often against a red ground. Her designs were based on the stories relating to women’s ceremony and regularly depicted 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.
Mrs Bennett passed away on January 28th 2013 near her ancestral land of Punkilpirri, WA.