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Nabula Scobie Napurrula / Women’s Ceremony (1B)

150cm x 90cm Acrylic on Canvas



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SKU: HA40 Category:

Nabula Scobie Napurrula was born near Haasts Bluff c. 1950 and grew up in Papunya. Her language group is Pintupi/Luritja. Her older brother Turkey Tolson Tjupurrula (dcsd.) was a very famous Papunya Tula artist and she is the niece of International artist Billy Stockman. Many in her family are renowned artists, including her step-sister Mitjili Napurrula.

Nabula commenced painting with her late husband Johnny Scobie Tjapanangka, who was one of the original Papunya Tula artists, and assisted him for many years in painting the background details to his paintings. Like many of the Senior women who were married to the Masters of the Papunya art movement, Nabula commenced to paint in her own right in the 1980’s, and immediately became recognised for her distinctive style and desirable artworks.

The knowledge of her country and the wealth of experience she has gained painting with the male grass roots desert artists at Papunya affords the artist a wide content of technique and traditional story representation. Nabula’s works often depict the women’s ceremonial body paint, rock holes and sandhills around the Kintore area and Mt. Liebig. She moved to Mt. Liebig in the early 1990’s and currently resides there with her son and grandchildren.

Her artworks are sought after world-wide and like many of the women who carried on the traditional style of the early Papunya Tula Artists, her technique of layered colouring in strong linear patterning is distinctive in execution and visually dynamic in appeal.

Nabula was a finalist in the prestigious 33rd Alice Prize at the Araluen Centre October 2004. She has travelled widely with her Art Centre, Watiyawanu Artists of Amunturrngu, including capital cities and to the “Art from the Heart” Exhibition at the Museum of Tropical Queensland, Townsville – a show then destined to travel to Japan.

Selected Exhibitions

• Alice Springs Art Award, Alice Springs
• Papunya and Beyond, Araluen Centre for the Arts, Alice Springs

• Two Worlds Collide: Cultural Convergences in Aboriginal and White Australian Art, Artspace, Sydney

• Art and Aboriginality, Aspex Gallery, Portsmouth, Great Britain

• Queensland Museum, Brisbane
• Recent Aboriginal Paintings. Incorporating the Maude Vizard-Wholohan Art Prize Purchase Awards, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide

• Friendly Country – Friendly People, Araluen Centre for the Arts, Alice Springs

• The Painted Dream. Contemporary Aboriginal Paintings, Auckland City Art Gallery, Auckland, NZ

• Chapman Gallery, Canberra

• Papunya Tula Artists Pty. Ltd., Alice Springs

Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide
Geschichtenbilder (Stories & Pictures) Aboriginal Art Galerie Bähr, Speyer, Germany

• Art of the Continents. Works of the Aborigines, Kunstverein Alsdorf, Germany (in conjunction with Aboriginal Art Galerie Bähr, Speyer)

• Aboriginal Art, IHK Würzburg, Germany (in conjunction with Aboriginal Art Galerie Bähr, Speyer)
• Flinders University of South Australia, Adelaide
• Zeichen des Seins. Paintings from the Australian Aborigines, Städtische Galerie ADA, Meiningen, Germany (in conjunction with Aboriginal Art Galerie Bähr, Speyer)

• Art of the Aborigines, Leverkusen, Germany (in conjunction with Aboriginal Art Galerie Bähr, Speyer)

• Aboriginal Art 2001, Scott Livesey Art Dealer, Melbourne
• Galerie Knud Grothe, Charlottenlund, Denmark
• Museé des Beaux Arts et d´Archeologie de Vienne, France

• The Strength and the Light, Art from Australia, Art Association Aschaffenburg, Germany (in conjunction with Aboriginal Art Galerie Bähr, Speyer)

• Die inneren und die äußeren Dinge. Stadtgalerie Bamberg Villa Dessauer, Bamberg, Germany (in conjunction with Aboriginal Art Galerie Bähr, Speyer)

Selected Collections
• Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide
• Australian Museum, Sydney
• Flinders University Art Museum, Adelaide
• Kelton Foundation, Los Angeles
• Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane
• Robert Holmes à Court Collection, Perth
• South Australian Museum, Adelaide


This artwork, with the use of symbols, depicts women (U shaped motifs) at rockhole sites (circles). Often at rockhole sites ceremonies are performed, away from others that are not allowed to be included. Before the ceremony begins the women are fully adorned in body paint.

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