Mitjili Napurrula

Australian Indigenous Artists Mitjili Napurrula

Mitjili Napurrula is a Pintupi woman from the Haasts Bluff region west of Alice Springs. She was born about 1945 and is half-sister to artist Turkey Tjupurrula Tolson and Narpula Napurrula. Obviously artistic talent runs in the Family. Mitjili’s distinctive painting style and designs are based on her father’s country called Uwalki, near the Kintore Ranges. The Dreaming stories (Tjukurrpa) behind the paintings relate to the making of spears, an important aspect of men’s business”. The patterns represent the women’s side of this Tjukurrpa, showing the trees (Watiya Tjuta) that provide the wood for spear shafts and other objects. 

Mitjili paints her father’s country which is characterized by red sandhills, bushes, and trees including the beautiful desert oaks. She was taught some of her key imagery by her mother drawing patterns in the sand. She says: “My mother taught me my father’s Tjukurrpa; that’s what I’m painting on the canvas.