Leah Nampijinpa Sampson / Water Dreaming (1838-20)

SKU: 1838-20

76cm x 46cm Acrylic on Linen


76cm x 46cm Acrylic on Linen


Artist Profile

Artwork is accompanied by Warlukurlangu Artists (Yuendumu) Art Centre Certificate of Authenticity/Provenance

Leah Nampijinpa Sampson was born in 1990 in Alice Springs Hospital, the closest hospital to Yuendumu, a remote Aboriginal community located 290 km north-west of Alice Springs in the NT of Australia. Her mother is Lynette Napanangka Sampson, a Warlukurlangu artist and her father is Gregoy Sampson. She has two sisters and one brother. Leah attended the local school and graduated in 2006. While at school she enjoyed both English and Walpiri languages and has always loved painting. After leaving school Leah began painting at the Art Centre. She is married and has two sons.

Leah began painting with Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation, an Aboriginal owned and governed art centre located in Yuendumu, in 2007. She has painted consistently since then. She paints her parents’ Jukurrpa, in particular Karnta Jukurrpa (Women’s Dreaming), Jarnmarda Jukurrpa (Bush Onion Dreaming) and Ngatijirri Jukurrpa (Budgerigar Dreaming) from her mother’s side and Yankirri Jukurrpa (Emu Dreaming) and Ngapa Jukurrpa (Water Dreaming) from her father’s side. These stories have been passed down over the generations for millennia and relate directly to the land, its features and the plants and animals that inhabit it. “When I was young I would come to the Art Centre and watch my Mum paint and listen to the stories of the old people.” Leah uses an unrestricted palette to develop a modern interpretation of her traditional culture.

When Leah is not painting or looking after her grandsons she loves to go hunting with her friend for Yurrampi (honey ants) in the wet season.

Artwork Description

The site depicted in this painting is Pirlinyarnu (Mt. Farewell), about 165 km west of Yuendumu in the Northern Territory. The ‘kirda’ (owners) for the water Dreaming site at Pirlinyarnu are Nangala/Nampijinpa women and Jangala/Jampijinpa men.

Two Jangala men, rainmakers, sang the rain, unleashing a giant storm that collided with another storm from Wapurtali at Mirawarri. A ‘kirrkarlanji’ (brown falcon [Falco berigora]) carried the storm further west from Mirawarri. The two storms travelled across the country from Karlipirnpa, a ceremonial site for the water Dreaming near Kintore that is owned by members of the Napaljarri/Japaljarri and Napanangka/Japanangka subsections.

Along the way the storms passed through Juntiparnta, a site that is owned by Jampijinpa men. The storm eventually became too heavy for the falcon. It dropped the water at Pirlinyarnu, where it formed an enormous ‘maluri’ (claypan). A ‘mulju’ (soakage) exists in this place today. Whenever it rains today, hundreds of ‘ngapangarlpa’ (bush ducks) still flock to Pirlinyarnu.

Leah Nampijinpa Sampson / Water Dreaming (1838-20) (Sold)
Gail Walls

Amazing. .wonderful paintings…love the stories told with each..beautiful works by all..look forward each day to see what is next to come…a big thank you to all for your beautiful pieces

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Beautiful art work….. Love it!

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