Samara Napaljarri Dickson was born in 1987 in Alice Springs Hospital, the closest hospital to Yuendumu, a remote Aboriginal community 290 km north-west of Alice Springs in the NT of Australia. She is the daughter of Alan Jungarrayi Dickson and Jean Napananga Brown and the granddaughter of Belle Nakamarra Dickson. She has one sister. Samara went to the local school before going to Alice Springs to attend Yirara College, a boarding school for Indigenous students. When she completed Year 10 she went to Port Pirie and Districts Aboriginal Community Centre (Nukunka), an adult community education, including computer classes, cooking, Arts and crafts. When she finished her studies, she returned to Yuendumu where she worked with the Old Peoples Program and later the Mt Theo Program. She is married to Andy Cook and they have four children.
Samara began painting with the Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation, an Aboriginal owned and governed art centre located in Yuendumu, in 2007. She paints her dad’s Ngapa Jukurrpa (Water Dreaming), Ngalyipi Jukurrpa (Snake Vine Dreaming), Yankirri Jukurrpa (Emu Dreaming) and Warna Jukurrpa (Snake Dreaming). She occasionally paints her Aunty’s Kanta Jukurrpa (Bush Coconut Dreaming) and her Mum’s Watiya-warnu Jukurrpa (Seed Dreaming). These ‘dreamings’ relate directly to her land, its features and the plants and animals that inhabit it. These stories were passed down to her by her family and their parents before them for millennia.She uses colour and patterns which she creatively combines to blend traditional motifs with her own ideas of modern design to represent her country.
“It is fun painting at the centre”.