Selina was born in 1978 and is the daughter of Barbara Price Mbtitjana who is an elder painter and cultural elder from Stirling Station. Selina has five sisters, Jacinta, Lanita, Louise, Caroline and Sharon Numina, who are also well respected artists from Utopia. Selina, along with her sisters and brothers were sent to boarding school in Darwin as no secondary schooling was available in Tennant Creek, 500kms north of Alice Springs. The family now live in Darwin and often travel back to Ti Tree and Stirling Station in the north Utopia region near Tennant Creek.
Selina’s family come from a long line of desert artists of the contemporary Aboriginal art including world renowned aunties: Gloria and Kathleen Petyerre, who are well established artists. Many women from the Petyerre, Mambitji and Numina family name hold custody of the story and knowledge keepers of stories such as Bush Medicine Leaves, Bush Tucker, Seeded, Soakage, Womens’ Ceremony etc – in common with other skin groups across the vast arid landscape and desert areas of central Australia.
Subjects of importance in the theme-series paintings are various bush tucker stories. Plant foods include wild berries, plums, onion, yam, seeds etc. Many animals can be depicted as food source or as totems such as Thorny Devil LIzard and Dingo Tracks. Womens’ Ceremony, Awelye Body Art Ceremony are mostly painted by senior ladies but younger women need to know it from a young age. Some themes such as Bush Tucker can be open and universal others can be secret and passed down through cultural ceremonies.
Knowing, carrying and reinforcing these stories gives respect for Country and ancestors and shows responsibility and care of holding such stories to keep the stories and traditional practices alive. The knowledge must be retold repeatedly and handed on. The Numina Sisters have all been taught to paint by their earlier elder painter grandmothers, mother-aunties, and cousin-sisters connected across the Central Desert region. Their mother’s and grandmother’s Country is in the bush and remote Stirling Station. Their father is from Utopia community side.