Spirit Country by Narputta Nangala Jugadai

Narputta Napurrula 'Haast's Bluff' 96 x 91.5cm.jpg
Narputta Napurrula 'Haast's Bluff' 96 x 91.5cm.jpg

Spirit Country by Narputta Nangala Jugadai


Narputta Nangala Jugadai c.1933 - 2010

Acrylic on canvas

76 x 91.5cm

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Narputta Nangala Jugadai was born circa 1933 at Kaarkurutinytja (Lake MacDonald). When very young, she lived a completely nomadic life with her Pintupi family. Her father, Tjalakuny, brought Narputta and her brother in from the desert to Haasts Bluff, then left and returned to a nomadic life. After schooling in Jay Creek, Narputta went through a period of interaction with missionaries, stockmen and government staff. She worked herding animals and moved large groups of goats and camels from Jay Creek to Haasts Bluff, where she witnessed successive groups of her Pintupi people coming in from the desert, often ill and weak.

Subsequently she took on the job of cook for the community. At this time, a number of other key figures who moved to Haasts Bluff, including acclaimed artist Long Tom Tjapanangka were working as stockmen. She recalls : 'When they used to bring in the cattle for yarding we would cook damper and open tinned meat for them ... People came in from the bush  and passed away here but I continued cooking and gave it to those who were ill.'

Narputta's husband, Timmy TjungurrayiJugadai was head stockman during this early period of the Hassts Bluff cattle industry. Perhaps as a result of this leadership, Narputta had a strong personality and dominant position among artists in the community. Her work is confident and bold. She was one of the first women artists to commence solo painting, but previously assisted her husband who painted for Papunya Tula Artists in the 1970's.

Narputtta Nangala began painting her father's country around Lake MacDonald in 1992. She won a National Aboriginal Art Award in 1997. Her work is held by major Australian art galleries and museum including :

National Gallery of Australia

National Gallery of Victoria

Queensland Art Gallery

Art Gallery of South Australia

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