Nyarapayi Giles (dec.) was one of the respected elders of Tjukurla Community. Nyarapayi was born in the Gibson Desert at an important cultural site called ‘Karku’. It is this site and the associated Tjukurpa that inspired her powerful and unique paintings.
Nyarapayi spent her youth living the traditional nomadic life of her people until her family were moved from their land to settle in missions in the 1960’s. Nyarapayi’s knowledge of the Inma (ceremonies) and Tjukurrpa (dreaming stories) associated with the country here is extensive. Nyarapayi settled in Tjukurla when the community was first established in the 1980s. She worked with ‘purnu’ (wood carving) and enjoyed hunting in the bush right up until her passing. She learned to make baskets woven from spinifex in the 1980’s and has a large basket on permanent exhibition at the Queensland Art Gallery. Nyarapayi Giles works explore her country and associated Tjukurrpa in an exquisite and unique expression of colour and movement. Nyarapayi has gained recognition as a key artist amongst her peers in the Contemporary Indigenous Art movement. Her works are collected by collectors and institutions in Australia and internationally.