Nyapanyapa is quite remarkable. She is perhaps the artist of the region most remote from the market she creates for. In this sense her art is really quite pure for it is without any consideration or desire to understand what happens beyond point of sale to her art centre. Through a building interest in her work these things may change. She is a widow, a wife of the late Djapu clan leader Djiriny Mununggurr who died in 1977. Her early life was spent with her father Munggurrawuy Yunupingu a renowned artists and father of two Australians of the Year (Her brothers Galarrwuy and Mandawuy). She is a ceremonial woman and lives without thought of material possession. She is a classificatory sister to star artist Gulumbu and traveled once to Adelaide for the 2005 Festival with her kin for a critically acclaimed crying performance in honour of her deceased sister and senior artist Gaymala. She is small in stature and has been quite deaf for a long time. She was badly gored by a buffalo in the 1970s at Mutpi near Garrthalala which required her medical evacuation to Darwin which was more rare in those days. Although childless she has helped to raise many children and is almost always in company with one of her sisters, usually Barrupu until her death in 2012, but now Djakangu. She embodies uncomplaining humble persistence in her gentle subsistence lifestyle.
Nyapanyapa’s prints, especially her whacky and boldly coloured screen prints, have been a hit for 10 years. Lots of her editions have been in many exhibitions around the world. She started to paint on bark in 2007. Shortly after this she was exhibited in the Telstra Award and accepted to hold her first solo exhibition at Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery in September 2008. She won the Wandjuk Marika Memorial 3D Prize in Telstra NATSIAA 2008 with a piece which used bark and video to narrate the event with the Buffalo. She continues to paint at Buku and exhibit in Sydney with Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery until this day. Australian Institutional collections aquired her work heavily. She was chosen to feature in the NGA’s National Indigenous Art Triennial: UnDisclosed in April 2011 which was then postponed to May 2012. She was also accepted into the WA Indigenous Art Award 2011 and the Sydney Bienalle 2012. She has continued to have successful annual exhibitions with Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery. Her work, “Light Painting” was purchased internationally in an edition of 5. It is a computer algorithm which seemlessly melds 120 white paint pen on acetate drawings into an infinite and layered imperceptibly dynamic painting made of light. She was invited to the 2016 Sydney Biennale to install a forest of poles. A retrospective survey show is planned at MAGNT for 2020.