TJAWINA PORTER NAMPITJINPA
b. 1950 -
Tjawina Porter Nampitjinpa, ‘Mrs. Porter’, is one of the protégés to follow in the footsteps of renowned female Aboriginal artists Naata Nungurrayi (b. 1932; auction record $ 216,000) and late Mrs. Bennett (1935-2013). Tjawina in her own right has seen her work recently collected by private, corporate and public collections in Australia, Europe and the United States.
Born around 1950, Tjawina Porter Nampitjinpa grew up in the desert living a nomadic lifestyle with her tribe. After the death of her younger brother, her family moved to the then newly established government settlement of Papunya. Tjawina has since returned to live in her country with family members. Like her sister Esther Giles Nampitjinpa, Tjawina was known for her skill as a traditional basket weaver before becoming recognised for her exceptional painting skills.
The works of Tjawina Porter Nampitjinpa are rich in ethnographic iconography and image the stories of her mother and father. Her paintings represent the traditional homelands associated with her tribe’s ancestral heritage, including the sites of Yumari, Punkilpirri and Tjalili. The concentric circles often depicted in Tjawina’s paintings depict sand dunes known as tali and rock escarpments known as puli, as well as waterholes and food sources located near her homeland. The lines connecting each of the symbols refer to ancestral pathways that were established during Tjukurrpa. Body painting is an important part of ceremonial practice and bears direct relationship to these pathways or ‘song-lines’. Her designs are often used in body art during traditional corroborees.
In the years that Tjawina has been painting she has gained worldwide recognition, participating in many national and international solo and group exhibitions all over the globe; at the European Fine Art Fair in Maastricht, Art Miami, the Armory Show in New York, and recently at Art Palm Beach International 2016.