Elizabeth Nyumi Australian, Pintupi, 1947-2019
Nyumi's mother belonged to the country of Nynmi near Kiwirrkurra on the Pintupi side. Her father was from Alyarra in the region of Ngaanyatjarra. When Nyumi was only a very young child her mother died tragically at the Kanari soakwater close to Jupiter Well. As a young girl, Nyumi lived a nomadic existence with her family group in their country, before walking up the Canning Stock Route into old mission with her father and family group as a teenager. Here she was given clothes and taken to Billiluna Station and trained as a domestic worker and subsequently travelled to many station houses around the region working for the wives of the station managers.
Nyumi is a very strong culture woman and dancer and an enthusiastic teacher of culture to children, ensuring the traditional dances and songs are kept alive. Nyumi had four daughters and three of them are still living and beginning to paint, which is strongly encouraged by Nyumi. Brandy Tjungurrayi and Patrick Olodoodi, both senior Law men and recognised artists, are Nyumi's older brothers.
Nyumi commenced painting in 1987 and began to emerge as a leading artist in the late 1990s. Her paintings are mainly concerned with the country of abundant bush food belonging to her family. Initially she worked with a thick brush, covering the canvas in emanating lines in muted tones. Her style has now developed to using a multitude of dotting to build up fields of texture but retains her signature motifs of small camps, coolamons and bush tucker trees and scrubs. Nyumi has had solo exhibitions in 2001, 2002 and 2003 and she has travelled interstate and overseas to attend openings of her exhibitions. In 2004 Nyumi became the first artist represented by Warlayirti Artists to be selected for the Biennale of Sydney and since this time she has been included in numerous prestigious exhibitions.