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Minnie Nelson Nakamarra

Yarrenyty Arltere Artists & Tangentyere Artists

Minnie Nelson Nakamarra was born at Papunya in 1966 and comes from a very strong family of famous artists. Her father was renowned painter Johnny Warrangkula Juburula, and her mother was his second wife, Gladys Jawentji Nabananga. She is the younger sister of Maggie Corby, also a member of Tangentyere Artists and her siblings Candy Nakamarra, Narlie Nakamarra and Dennis Tjakamarra are well known painters at Papunya Tjupi Arts.

Minnie paints her father Johnny Warrangkula’s Dreamings. She remembers staying close to her mother and father when they were painting and all the kids helping them by getting paint, brushes and water for them. She remembered that her father used to sing when he painted: “They both did. They used to tell stories and they told us all to be painters”  Nakamarra went to school in Papunya – and after school went home to watch her father painting.

Nakamarra started as a painter by practising with her mother and father’s paints and brushes – she and all her siblings did this. She painted occasionally for Warumpi Arts in the 1990s but did her first painting for a long time in May 2007 when canvas and paints were being distributed across Papunya for the inaugural ‘Papunya Tjupi: A new beginning’ exhibition at Ivan Dougherty Gallery, College of Fine Arts, UNSW. She later developed a print of the same design used in her painting for this show with UNSW’s Cicada Press.

Nakamarra paints her father’s sites of Tjikari, Kalipinypa and Kampurrarrpa and his Water and Bush Tomato Dreamings are her usual subjects. She also paints her mother’s Witchetty Grub story.

Minnie has painted with Papunya Tjupi Art Centre, but she now tends to travel between Papunya and Alice Springs. She has adult children living away from home and visits Alice Springs regularly to keep up with family.