Trudy Nyurpaya Holland Smythe Australian, Ngaantjara, b. 1963
"It’s good to sit down and do it” Trudy Nyurpaya Holland speaking about why she weaves.
Born in Warburton, Western Australia in 1963, Trudy Nyurpaya Holland spent her early years in this area, travelling around with her parents, from whom she learnt about her Ngaanyatjarra culture, heritage and language. Trudy later went to primary school in the Warburton community, where she learnt her second language, English. Her studies continued when she became a boarder at Kalgoorlie and Esperance Senior High Schools.
With her formal education completed, Trudy moved to Warakurna, working in the Women’s Centre. She later married, raised three beautiful children; Dallas, Joshua and Deon, passing on to them the knowledge her parents taught her. Trudy is now the proud grandmother of five grandchildren, who live in nearby Ngaanyatjarra communities.
Trudy is part of an incredibly Artistic family, with both her mother Nora Holland and daughter, Dallas Smythe well-known Tjanpi Artists. Following her career at the Warakurna Women’s Centre, Trudy became an acrylic painter, and only later took up weaving, following the success of her daughter, Dallas, in early 2015 when she won the Port Hedland Art Prize. Trudy attributes a large part of her weaving knowledge to her daughter, which was imparted in relaxed, evening weaving at home, and at a Tjanpi Desert Weavers skills workshop in 2015.
Primarily working with traditional Tjanpi materials, including wool, raffia and Minarri grass, Trudy’s works focus on depicting local Central Desert animals and traditional artefact-shapes. Trudy also facilitates her mother’s weaving, bringing her raffia and grass to the Kalgoorlie aged-care facility where Nora now lives.