Eubena Nampitjin1921 - 2013 Well 33 2009
- acrylic on linen
'Drawing from her ‘living breathing estate’, Eubena’s works were improvisations on songs of hunting and ceremonial grounds, hills, waterholes and stars, always reuniting with Kinyu (White Spirit Dingo Tjukurrpa) and his site on the Canning Stock Route for which she was ‘kirta’ (owner). Music and image are never far from the liminal. They are universal means of approaching and crossing thresholds, providing safe passage from one reality and being to another, which is integral to healing. The quiet but powerful percussion and rhythms emanating from the old people at work manifested in drama, mood, myth and sound on canvas as they sang their paintings into existence.' Erica Izzett, quoted in the exhibition catalogue for Eubena, D'Lan Contemporary, Melbourne, 24 August - 7 October 2022.
Read the full exhibition catalogue: EUBENA
The artist has painted Well 33 on her country south west of Balgo along the middle stretches of the Canning Stock Route, as related by her daughter, Jane Gimme at the recent exhibition EUBENA at D'Lan Contemporary, Melbourne.
This is the country where Kinyu the spirit dog lives. Eubena would often cover Midjul with leaves so Kinyu wouldn't come out and also leave gifts of goanna for Kinyu.
As a young child, Eubena (pronounced 'yupinya') and her family lived a nomadic life, travelling, hunting and performing cermony and law in the Great Sandy Desert. Eubena's uncle and mother gave her Maparn (traditional healer) skills when Eubena was just a young girl. She became an esteemed lawwoman in the community who was consulted with on all law questions. With her first husband (the late Gimme) and family, Eubena travelled up the Canning Stock Route to Billiluna Station. From there, the group followed the mission from location to location until it established the present site at Balgo.
Eubena Nampitjin started painting with her second husband, Wimmitji, in the mid 1980s and she is now Warlayirti Artists' best-known artist. Her works show spontaneity and strength and resonate with her power of place and intimate knowledge of country. Her paintings demonstrate passion and dedication, weaving stories from the Tjukurrpa (Dreaming) while telling her own personal history and knowledge.
The artist exhibited in solo and group exhibitions (both nationally and internationally) since the beginning of her painting career and she often travelled to attend exhibition openings around the country. Sadly, Eubena passed away in 2013.
Text courtesy of Warlayirti Artists
© estate of the artist and Warlayirti Artists