Born: Papunya, NT
LANGUAGE GROUP: Pintupi
COMMUNITY: Kintore, NT
Debra Young Nakamarra is the eldest daughter of esteemed Pintupi artists Walangkura Napanangka and Johnny Yungut Tjupurrula. Debra was born at Papunya in 1964 and as a child witnessed the inception of the desert painting movement at Papunya. With Debra's father being a highly respected cultural figure within the Pintupi community and a large repertoire of Dreaming subjects, Johnny began painting soon after the desert painting movement began. With the rise of the homelands movement, the family moved away from Papunya, living in various places such as the Kintore community, which is roughly 530 km west of Alice Springs and close to the border with Western Australia.
Debra began painting in 1984 along with her sisters, under the guidance of their mother who taught them their Dreaming stories. During this time, the women artists from the communities at Kintore and Haasts Bluff gathered to start making their own paintings. Prior to that time the women artists had assisted the men of their families with their painting, but had not created their own stories from the women's Dreaming tradition.
Debra employs the classical designs and dotted infilling technique, which has characterized the Pintupi style from the beginnings. The motifs in her artwork resemble those found in her mothers, yet her composition and bold colours choice gives Debra's artwork an individualized style. Debra uses the warm reds and oranges of her mother's preferred palette, and incorporates other vibrant - sometimes unexpected - colours which make her artworks bold, energetic, and bring that 'wow' factor to any interior.
The subject matter of Debra's artwork is her mother's Country and the Dreamings associated with certain sites, such as Tjintjintjin, north west of Kintore. Her art creates a powerful sense of energy and we look forward to seeing the progression of this mid-career artist.
Selected Group Exhibitions
2019 International Women's Day, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
2019 Defining Tradition: the first wave & its disciples, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney