Elizabeth Nyumi

c1947 - Parwalla 2010
  • acrylic on canvas
180 cm x 120 cm

As a young girl, Elizabeth Nyumi lived a nomadic existence with her family group before, as a teenager, walking up the Canning Stock Route and onto the old mission. Here she was given clothes and taken to Billiluna Station where she was trained as a domestic worker. As a young woman she travelled to many stations around the region to work for the station managers' wives.

Nyumi began painting in 1987 and emerged as leading artist at Balgo community in the late 1990s. Her paintings are mainly concerned with the country of abundant bush food belonging to her family.

Parwalla is the traditional country of Elizabeth Nyumi's father.

Located far south of Balgo and west of Kiwirrkurra, in the Great Sandy Desert, the area is dominated by tali (sand hills). Parwalla is a large swampy area, which fills with water after the wet season rain and consequently produces an abundance of bush foods. The greater part of Nyumi's painting shows the different bush foods, including kantjilyi (bush raisin), pura (bush tomato) and minyili (seed). The area of whitish colour throughout the painting represents the spinifex that grows strongly and seeds after the wet season rains. White in colour, these seeds grow so thickly they obscure the ground and other plants beneath.

Source: Warlayirti Artists

© Elizabeth Nyumi/Copyright Agency, 2018

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The Wesfarmers Collection of Australian Art acknowledges all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Traditional Custodians of Country and recognises their continuing connection to land, sea, culture and community. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

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