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Malpiya Davey

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Malpiya Davey
Other namesIrpintiri Davey
Years active2000s – present
OrganizationErnabella Arts
StyleWestern Desert painting, ceramics, printmaking
Children5 daughters, 1 son

Malpiya Davey (born 1959), also known as Irpintiri Davey, is an Aboriginal Australian artist from Pukatja, South Australia. She is best known for her ceramic artworks, but she also does painting, printmaking and weaving. Davey works for Ernabella Arts, the community arts co-operative in Pukatja. Ernabella Arts opened a ceramic studio in 2003, and Malpiya has since become one of its most prolific artists. She specialises in ceramic sgraffito.[1]

Malpiya is Pitjantjatjara. Her parent's country is to the west of Pukatja between Watarru and Iltur, close to the border with Western Australia. She decorates the ceramic with glazed or painted designs. Her designs depict various traditional bush foods from her family's country, such as kampuṟarpa (desert raisins), wayaṉu (quandong) and iḻi (wild figs). These are the subject of many of her sgraffito pieces.[1]

Malpiya's ceramic work has been shown in several major exhibitions around Australia, including at Flinders University,[2] Cudgegong Gallery,[3] Strathnairn Homestead Gallery,[4] and the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory.[1] It was also featured twice at the annual Desert Mob exhibition in Alice Springs, in 2003 and 2004.[5] Examples are held in the permanent collections of the Grafton Regional Gallery in New South Wales,[6] the Art Gallery of South Australia,[7] and the National Gallery of Australia.[8] The National Museum of Australia also contains examples of Malpiya's screen prints.[9]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Grafton Regional Gallery Collection. Grafton, New South Wales: HighBeam Research. 2011. Retrieved 8 January 2013. 
  2. "Earth Works". Exhibitions. Flinders University, Art Museum & City Gallery. Retrieved 8 January 2013. 
  3. Hunter Arts Network (7 January 2010). "Worlds converge at Cudgegong Gallery". Press release. 
  4. Franzi, Cathy (November 2011). "Two Communities - the Language of Clay". The Journal of Australian Ceramics 50 (3): 76. 
  5. Finnane, Kieran (20 August 2003). Desert's Treasures. Retrieved 8 January 2013. 
  6. "Malpiya Davey". Collection Online. Grafton Regional Gallery. Retrieved 8 January 2012. 
  7. "Vase (20042C3A)". Art Gallery of South Australia. Retrieved 8 January 2013. 
  8. "Davey, Malpiya". Collection Online. National Gallery of Australia. Retrieved 8 January 2013. 
  9. "Works by Malpiya Davey". Collection Online. National Museum of Australia. Retrieved 8 January 2013. 

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