Nyumi currently lives at Kururrungku (Billiluna), an outlying
community from Balgo. Nyumi's mother belonged to the country
of Nynmi (Jupiter Well) near Kiwirrkurra on the Pintupi side.
Tragically she died quite young from a dingo bite at the Kanari
soak water close to Jupiter Well. Her father was from Alyarra
in the region of Natajarra.
Nyumi was living a nomadic existence with her
family group on the Canning Stock Route before walking into
Old Balgo Mission with her father after her mother had died.
Here she was given clothes and taken to Billiluna and trained
as a house worker, cleaning the floors with rags, washing dishes
and raking the grounds.
She subsequently traveled to many station houses
around the region working for the wives of the station owners.
Nyumi married a man called Palmer Gordon who is now a senior
law man of the Billiluna community.
Both Nyumi and Gordon Palmer teach culture
to the children at the school ensuring the traditional dances
and songs are kept alive. Nyumi advises the nursing staff at
the health clinic about traditional bush medicines and she is
also knowledgeable about carving coolamons and digging sticks.
Nyumi began painting in 1987 and emerged as
a leading artist in the late 1990s. Her paintings are mainly
concerned with her country and the abundant bush food belonging
to her family. In her maturity as a painter she initially 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 she retains her
signature motifs of small camps, coolamons and bush tucker trees
and scrubs. She is an active member in the community, being
a strong law and culture woman.
In 2004, Elizabeth Nyumi was selected for
the Biennale of Sydney.
Her work is held in the following Collections: the National
Gallery of Australia, Canberra; National Gallery of Victoria,
Melbourne; the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory,
Darwin; the Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth; Artbank,
Sydney; the Laverty Collection, Sydney and the Holmes à
Court Collection, Perth.
We regularly offer paintings by Elizabeth Nyumi in the Paintings
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