Petra Nampijinpa Marshall



Petra Nampijinpa Marshall was born in 1973 in Pupunya, a small indigenous Australian community 240 km northwest of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory. Her father’s country is Pupunya and her mother’s country is Nyirripi. Petra moved to Nyirripi with her mother, brothers and sisters when she was 10 years old. She began her schooling at the local school in Pupunya and finished it in Nyirripi. Nyirripi (which began as an outstation of Yuendumu) is a remote Aboriginal ‘community’ approximately 440 km from Alice Springs. Petra has lived in Nyirripi ever since. She has two brothers and two sisters, one brother lives in Mt Liebig, close to Pupunya and a sister who lives in Alice Springs. Since 2009, Petra has been painting with Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation, an Aboriginal owned and governed art centre located in Yuendumu, a remote Aboriginal community located 290 km north-west of Alice Springs in the NT of Australia. Warlukurlangu Art Centre provides an outlet for Warlpiri artists to paint their cultural heritage and earn income from their work. This service is extended to Nyirripi artists, on a weekly basis, by delivering canvas and paint to artists and picking up finished artwork in Nyirripi. Petra paints her mother’s Jukurrpa stories, Dreamings which relate directly to her land, its features and the plants and animals that inhabit it. These stories were passed down to her by her mother and her parents before her for millennia. She particularly likes to paint Ngapa Jukurrpa (Water Dreaming) and Karnta Jukurrpa (Women’s Dreaming). Petra uses an unrestricted palette to develop a modern interpretation of her traditional culture. In 1996, Petra married and has one daughter, Lisa. When she is not painting she likes to visit Pupunya, her father’s country, and spend time with her family. She also enjoys watching sport, especially the footy.