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Ngupulya Pumani

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Ngupulya Pumani
Other namesMargaret Pumani
Years active2009 – present
OrganizationMimili Maku
StyleWestern Desert art
Spouse(s)Shannon Kantji
Children4 daughters
1 son (deceased) [1]
Parent(s)Sam and Milatjari Pumani

Ngupulya Pumani (born 1948 in Mimili) is an Australian Aboriginal artist from Mimili, in the north-west of South Australia.[2][3] She is part of a well-known family of artists, who belong to the Yankunytjatjara community.[1] Her mother, Milatjari, and her sister, Betty Kuntiwa, are both successful painters.[2] Ngupulya has paintings held in the National Gallery of Victoria,[3] and the Art Gallery of New South Wales.[2]

Ngupulya began painting in 2009, for Mimili's community art co-operative, Mimili Maku.[2] She had been inspired to paint by her mother.[1][4] Her first major exhibition was later that year in Alice Springs, at the annual "Desert Mob" show.[5] Since then, her paintings have been exhibited in several cities around Australia, including twice at the Gallery Gabriella Pizzi in Melbourne.[4][6]

Ngupulya's paintings depict scenes and concepts from her family's Dreaming. Her mother's ngura (homeland) is Antara, and her father's is near Watarru.[1] Antara is a sacred place associated with the Maku Tjukurpa (Witchetty Grub Dreaming), and Ngupulya most often paints stories from this Dreaming.

She uses pale, earthy colours in her backgrounds to depict the desert landscape, and this is contrasted with patterns of intense, bright dots and lines to represent symbols, figures and their journeys.[4][6] Many of her techniques were taken from her mother, but used more consistently with her own refinements.[7] The results have been compared to the early works of Emily Kngwarreye.[6]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Kelch, Robyn, ed. "Ngupulya Pumani" (in German) (PDF). Freiburg im Breisgau: Art Kelch. Retrieved 20 November 2012. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "Ngupulya Pumani: Maku inmaku pakani". Art Gallery of New South Wales. Retrieved 20 November 2012. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Ngupulya Pumani". Collection Online. National Gallery of Victoria. Retrieved 20 November 2012. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Details of Ngupulya Pumani". Short Street Gallery. Retrieved 20 November 2012. 
  5. Finnane, Kieran. "Mimili Maku". Australian Art Collector (Sydney: Magnesium Media) 61 (July – September 2012). Retrieved 20 November 2012. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Walter, Trent (25 August 2011). "New work from north-west SA". Australian Art Review. Australian Art & Leisure Media Pty Ltd. Retrieved 20 November 2012. 
  7. Rothwell, Nicolas (24 May 2012). Blossoming where songlines meet. Retrieved 20 November 2012. 

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