An image of Untitled

Eubena Nampitjin

(Australia circa 1925 – 11 Mar 2013)

Wirrimanu (Balgo), Western Desert region
Language group
Wangkajunga, Western Desert region


20th & 21st c Australian art
Further information

Eubena is the best known of Warlayirti Artists' many painters. She is one of the most esteemed law women in the community, being consulted and deferred to on all questions of law. Moogaga, Eubena's mother, taught her 'maparn' (healing) skills before she passed away, when Eubena was just a young girl. The family travelled and hunted, performing ceremonies and law for the upkeep of their country and their own spiritual preservation. Nomadic life was harsh and most of her extended family had passed away or moved to other parts of the country. Eubena talks of many 'sorry' times.

Eubena started painting with her second husband, Wimmitji in the mid 1980's. Their work shared a luminous and intricate complexity along with a love of the warm reds, oranges and yellows that continues to be Eubena's signature today. Eubena's reputation grew, as one half of the famous painting duo at Balgo, but also as a solo artist in her own right. Eubena has a spontaneity and strength of brush mark that carves the paint, leaving rhythmical tracks across the canvas.

During the printmaking workshop at Northern Editions, Northern Territory University in 1999, Eubena, together with Tjumpo Tjapanangka, Sam Tjampitjin, Billy Thomas, Helicopter and Lucy Yukenbarri all made etchings and screenprints, while most of the artists also painted on ceramic bowl forms, under the supervision of Rose and Angus Camerson. Eubena and Lucy's silkscreens were painted while they were in Darwin, so they were able to see the printing process and react to each colour as it was put down. Proofs of each of the etchings were also made during the workshop for the artists' approval.

Excerpts from 'Land Mark: Mirror Mark', NTU, Darwin, 1999

Place of origin
Wirrimanu (Balgo), Western Australia, Australia
etching, yellow/orange ink on cream wove Hahnemühle paper
32.4 x 49.3 cm platemark; 54.2 x 65.2 cm sheet
Signature & date

Signed l.r. beneath platemark, pencil "[artist's mark]". Not dated.

Mollie Gowing Acquisition Fund for Contemporary Aboriginal Art 2000
Accession number
© Eubena Nampitjin. Licensed by Copyright Agency