Nyapanyapa (Wendy) Yunupingu Australian, Yolgnu, b. 1945

Nyapanyapa is quite remarkable. She is perhaps the artist of the region most remote from the market she creates for. In this sense her art is really quire pure for it is without any consideration or desire to understand what happens beyond point of sale to her art centre. Through a building interest in her work these things may change.

 

She is a widow, a wife of the late Djapu clan leaser Djiriny Mununggurr who died in 1977. Her early life was spent with her father Munggurrawuy Yunupingu a renowned artist and father of two Australians of the year (her brothers Galarrwuy and Mandawuy). She is a ceremonial woman and a battler without material possession. She is a classificatory sister to star artist Gulumbu and traveled once to Adelaide for the 2005 Festival with her kin for a critically acclaimed crying performance in honour of her deceased sister and senior artist Gaymala.

 

She is small in stature and has been quite deaf for a long time. She was badly gored by a buffalo in the 1970s at Mutpi near Garrthalala which required her medical evacuation to Darwin which was more rare in those days. Although childless she has helped to raise many children and is almost always in the company of one of her sisters, usually Barrupu but sometimes Djakangu. She embodies uncomplaining humble persistence in her gentle subsistence lifestyle.

 

Nyapanyapa's prints, especially her wacky and boldly coloured screen prints have been a hit for ten years. Lots of her editions have been in many exhibitions around the world. She started to paint on bark in 2007. Shortly after this she was exhibited in the Telstra Award and acceopted to hold her first solo exhibition at Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery in September 2008.

 

She won the Wandjuk Marika Memorial 3Dimensional Prize in Telstra NATSIAA in 2008.