Sarah Napurrurla Leo was born in 1971 on Napperby Station, an area located 122 km north of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory of Australia. Sarah later moved with her parents from the Napperby homestead area to the Laramba Community, 205 km north-west of Alice Springs. The Laramba Community began in 1983 on the Napperby Station Homestead but moved to its present location in 1984. Sarah’s parents have both passed away. She has two sisters, Selma Napurrurla Leo and Katherine Napurrurla Leo and one brother Clement Japurrurla Leo. Her remaining Grandmother is Rita Nangala Dixon.
Sarah had a traditional upbringing, spending time with her parents who would take her out bush, around Napperby, showing her sites and teaching her the traditional ways of her country. Later she lived in Alice Springs where she met her husband who was from Yuendumu, an Aboriginal community located 190 km north-west of Alice Springs. Shortly after they were married they moved to Yuendumu where she has lived ever since. Sara found work with the Old People’s Program, and took care of the elderly, helping them when they were sick, being with them when they feel alone, or when they are frighten during storms.
Sarah has been painting with Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation, an Aboriginal owned and governed art centre located in Yuendumu, since 2008. She paints Karnta Jukurrpa (Womens Dreaming), her Grandmother’s Jukurrpa stories. These stories relate directly to her land, its features and the plants and animals that inhabit it. She also paints her Mother’s Jukurrpa, Ngurlu Jukurrpa (Native Seed Dreaming). Sarah uses an unrestricted palette to develop a modern interpretation of her traditional culture.
When Sarah is not painting she looks after her young son who was born in 2008.