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SONDA TURNER NAMPIJMPA - Aboriginal Artist from Mt Leibig Central Australia NT

SONDA TURNER NAMPIJMPA, Walpriri woman, was born in the Tanimi Desert in Yuendumu in 1956.

At 10 years old Sonda's father Paddy Jangala, moved the family to Papunya as a new school was being built there. They took 6 months to walk from the desert country. Then at Papunya School the teacher Geoffrey Barden asked Sonda's family to paint the toilet block. Then he asked them to paint on paper or old board. In the early 70's Sonda saw her uncles Paddy Carroll Tjungurrayi and Two Bob Tjungurrayi starting to paint on canvas and sell to the newly established, now internationally renowned, Papunya Tula Art Gallery.

" I started painting after watching my uncle and my uncle told me
"this is how you've got to paint it. You've got to paint your grandfather's Dreaming and your grandmother's Dreaming and don't copy other people's painting or other people's Dreaming. You get in big trouble."
My sisters and me started painting and my brother Norman too. Another two brothers didn't paint. "

Sonda largely lives and works in Darwin. Like many Aboriginal elders Sonda returns to Country and Alice Springs on a regular basis. Sonda is a character and regular identity around Darwin CBD. She often participates in public events and celebrations.

See bottom of page to see Sonda's collective works for sale

Unless otherwise stated all paintings are acrylic on canvas
All paintings are sign on the back and come with a Certificate of Authenticity.


1986, Canberra Times Art Award

1991 "The Painted Dream", Auckland City Art Gallery, New Zealand

Artbank, Sydney. Nation Gallery of Australia, Canberra.
Art Gallery of South Australia. Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth.
Donald Kahn collection, Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami.
The Holmes a Court Collection, Perth. Malcolm Forbes, USA
The Kelton Foundation, Santa Monica, U.S.A.

Group Exhibitions:
1986, The Third National Aboriginal Art Award Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of NT, Darwin.
1990, Art Dock, Contemporary Art from Australia, Noumea, New Caledonia
1991, Central Australian Aboriginal Art and Craft Exhibition, Araluen Centre, Alice Springs
1991, Alice to Penzance, The Mall Galleries, The Mall, London
1991, Australian Aboriginal Art from the Collection of Donald Kahn, Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami, USA.
1992, Tjukurrpa, Museum fur Volkerkunde, Basel.
1993, Tjukurrpa, Desert Dreamings, Aboriginal Art from Central Australia (1971-1993), Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth WA.
1994, Dreamings - Tjukurrpa: Aboriginal Art of the Western Desert; The Donald Kahn collection, Museum Villa Stuck, Munich

Select Bibliography:
Australian Aboriginal Art from the Collection of Donald Kahn, 1991, Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami, USA, exh. cat
Caruana, W., 1993, Aboriginal Art, Thames and Hudson, London. (C)
Isaacs, J., 1989, Australian Aboriginal Paintings, Weldon Publishing, New South Wales.
Johnson, V., 1994, The Dictionary of Western Desert Artists, Craftsman House, East Roseville, New South Wales. (C)
Premont, R., and Lennard, M., 1988, Tjukurrpa, Desert Paintings of Central Australia, Centre for Aboriginal Artists, Alice Springs.
1993, Tjukurrpa Desert Dreamings, Aboriginal Art from Central Australia (1971-1993), exhib. cat., Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth.