Virginia Napaljarri Sims was born in Royal Perth Hospital, a long way from her home in Nyirripi, a remote aboriginal community located approximately 430 km from Alice Springs in the Northern Territory of Australia. She is the granddaughter of Ena Nakamarra Gibson, a major Warlpiri artist. Virgina grew up in Nyirripi but later was sent to Cairns to finish her school at Djarragun College. She completed Year 10 before returning home.
Although she was taught art at school it was her Grandmother that inspired her to paint. When she was young she would listen to her grandmother’s jukurrpa and watch her paint. She began painting with Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation, an Aboriginal owned and governed art centre located in Yuendumu and Nyirripi, in 2017. She paints her Grandmother’s Mina Mina Jukurrpa (Mina Mina Dreaming – Ngalyipi) – a very important women’s dreaming site west of Nyirripi near Lake Mackay and the WA border. These stories have been passed down to her by her grandmother and her grandmother’s mother before her for millennia. Virginia loves colour and uses an unrestricted palette and enjoys painting patterns to depict her jukurrpa.
Virginia is married to Brad James and when she is not painting she loves cleaning house, watching movies and cooking shows on TV.