Debbie Brown Napaltjarri

DOB: 1985
BORN: Tanami Desert
LANGUAGE GROUP: Warlpiri
COMMUNITY:Nyirripi

Debbie Brown Napaltjarri

Debbie Napaltjarri Brown was born in Nyirripi, a remote Aboriginal community 400 km northwest of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory of Australia. She grew up in Nyirripi and did most of her schooling there, although she spent several years boarding at Yirrara College in Alice Springs. When she returned to Nyirripi she worked at the store as well as helping to care for old people. In 2010 Debbie moved to Yuendumu, 160 km east of Nyirripi, with her husband and son Jarvis to be closer to her husband’s family. She works for the Women’s Centre, cooking lunches for the kids at school. Debbie has been painting with Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation, an Aboriginal owned and governed art centre located in Yuendumu, since 2006.
Her Grandmother, Margaret Napangardi Brown, also an artist with the art centre, taught her to paint. Her Grandfather is the renowned Pintupi artist Pegleg Tjampitjinpa who was born c.1920 and grew up in the vicinity of Wilkinkarra, living a traditional life. Debbie would watch her grandmother and grandfather paint and listen to her Grandmother’s Jukurrpa or Dreaming stories. In her paintings, Debbie depicts the Tali (Sand Hills) of the country around Nyirripi and Yuendumu.  These sandhills are an important part of life in the harsh Central Australian desert regions. Some areas of sandhills are full of life, while other areas are devoid of life and the people who inhabit this land need to know where they need to go to find food, water, and medicines.

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