Cynthia Nakamarra Wheeler was born in Alice Springs Hospital, the closest hospital to Yuendumu, a remote Aboriginal community 290 km from Alice Springs in the NT of Australia. She was born to Rita Napanangka Wheeler and Neil Jupurrula Cook. Cynthia attended Kormilda College, an Aboriginal boarding college in Darwin. She enjoyed her years at Kormilda College, and when she graduated in Year 10 she returned to Yuendumu where she worked at Centrelink until 2011. She married Kevin Japangardi Williams, also a Warlukurlangu Artist and they have one child. Recently she and her family moved to Nyrripi, an Aboriginal community west of Yuendumu.
Cynthia has been painting with Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation, an Aboriginal owned and governed art centre located in Yuendumu, since 2012. She was prompted to paint on a regular basis when she attended a workshop in early 2013. She enjoys painting, “It is interesting and keeps me busy. When I wake up in the mornings I look forward to painting. I paint my Mother’s Jukurrpa.” Cynthia paints Ngalyipi Jukurrpa (Snake Vine Dreaming) and Yurrampi Jukurrpa (Honey Ant Dreaming), Dreamings that have been passed down through the generations for millennia and relate directly to the land, its features and the animals and plants that inhabit it. She uses an unrestricted palette to develop a modern interpretation of her traditional culture.
When Cynthia is not painting she likes to go hunting with her family.