Leah Nampijinpa Sampson was born in 1990 in Alice Springs Hospital, the closest hospital to Yuendumu, a remote Aboriginal community located 290 km north-west of Alice Springs in the NT of Australia. Her mother is Lynette Napanangka Sampson, a Warlukurlangu artist and her father is Gregoy Sampson. She has two sisters and one brother. Leah attended the local school and graduated in 2006. While at school she enjoyed both English and Walpiri languages and has always loved painting. After leaving school Leah began painting at the Art Centre. She is married and has two sons and two grandsons.
Leah began painting with Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation, an Aboriginal owned and governed art centre located in Yuendumu, in 2007. She has painted consistently since then. She paints her parents’ Jukurrpa, in particular Karnta Jukurrpa (Women’s Dreaming), Jarnmarda Jukurrpa (Bush Onion Dreaming) and Ngatijirri Jukurrpa (Budgerigar Dreaming) from her mother’s side and Yankirri Jukurrpa (Emu Dreaming) and Ngapa Jukurrpa (Water Dreaming) from her father’s side. These stories have been passed down over the generations for millennia and relate directly to the land, its features and the plants and animals that inhabit it. “When I was young I would come to the Art Centre and watch my Mum paint and listen to the stories of the old people.” Leah uses an unrestricted palette to develop a modern interpretation of her traditional culture.
When Leah is not painting or looking after her grandsons she loves to go hunting with her friend for Yurrampi (honey ants) in the wet season.