Julie Napaljarri Dempsey

Julie Napaljarri Dempsey

Artworks

Biography

”I like to paint because it takes me back spiritually and historically to who I am” Julie Napaljarri Dempsey was born in 1976 in Alice Springs in the NT of Australia. Her mother was artist Lorna Wilson (Dec) and her Grandfather was artist Kaapa Jampitjinpa (1920 – 1989), a well-known artist involved with the inception of the painting movement at Papunya. Her two sisters and her father, a New Zealander, all live in South Australia at Port Pirie, Clare and Adelaide. Julie lives in Yuendumu with her husband, Herbert Martin and family. Julie went to Alice Springs High School where she completed Year 10 and was boarding at Yirara College, an Aboriginal boarding college in Alice Springs. She started a family at a young age but later went on to do more studies at Batchelor College in reading and writing English. She then went bush and worked for Centre link at Kintore, a small Aboriginal community located 550 km west of Alice Springs, near the NT/WA border and the Tropic of Capricorn. Julie started painting with Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation, an Aboriginal owned and governed art centre in Yuendumu, in 2009. She paints her Grandfather’s Jukurrpa stories that include Ngala Jukurrpa (Water dreaming), depicting Warlukurlangu, one of her Grandfather’s key sites, a rainmaking place near Mt Denison; and the Honey Ant Dreaming. As a little girl Julie watched her family painting and listened to the stories behind the paintings. She uses traditional iconography in her artwork. Today Julie likes to be around her kids, Malcolm, Marissa, Gabriella and Kiara whom she had when she was young and Breanna and Azariah from her marriage to Herbert Martin. She also likes to go hunting and travelling around her country.