Yurpiya Lionel Australian, Pitjantjatjara, b. 1960

Yurpiya was born at the homeland Donald’s Well, near Kenmore Park, about 45 kms east of Ernabella. She is the daughter of Pantjiti Lionel, a very senior Pitjantjatjara woman and artist. Her family lived in Ernabella where she attended school. In 2004 Yurpiya started painting at Ernabella. She has three children and several grandchildren - her daughters Rachael and Alison Lionel are emerging painters and ceramic artists.


She has also worked at the Ernabella childcare centre and at the Ernabella store. Yurpiya has recently begun to experiment with abstract mark making, rather than the literal imagery of flowers, animals, insects and bush tucker that she used to paint. She is also a very accomplished fibre sculptor and weaver, using tjanpi (native grass) and raffia to make baskets, animals and vehicles.


In 2015 Yurpiya was a finalist in the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards, and in 2018 she was a finalist in the Wynne Prize. Yurpiya has exhibited many times both nationally and internationally. In 2017 she exhibited alongside her two daughters and her mother in The Lionel Family - Tjukurpa Titutjura Kunpu Ngaranytjaku (keepingour tjukurpa strong forever)