Kim Butler Napurrula

Kim Butler Napurrula is a Pintupi woman from Tjukurla, located far to the west of Alice Springs, just over the Western Australian border. Kim comes from a talented family of artists. She is the daughter of acclaimed artist, Anatjari Tjakamarra, who was one of the original group of painting men who formed around Geoffrey Bardon in 1971. He was also one of the original Papunya Tula shareholders when the company formed at the end of 1972. Anatjari was one of a family group who only came out of the desert in 1966, when they began walking into Papunya. Kim’s mother is Katarra Butler Napaltjarri, Antjari Tjakamarra’s second wife, (her older sister, Nguya, was his first wife), and she is cousin to Faith Butler. While Katarra names Maki, Kim and Jason as her children, it is believed that they were born to her sister, Nguya. Kim Butler Napurrula was the wife of the popular artist John Jebydah (already deceased).
Kim Butler Napurrula’s country is around Marrapinti and the Naan Desert running along the Northern Territory and Western Australian border. She now lives at Kiwirrkura, but has also been painting for a number of years in Alice Springs
Kim’s works are primarily depictions of her Country, representing the sacred women’s sites between the communities of Kintore and Kiwirkurra in the Western Desert of Central Australia, and women collecting bush tucker at these sites.
Kim Butler Napurrula paints the Women’s Tingari narratives from her Mother’s country in the Western Desert of Australia. Kim’s Dreamings include body paint designs and other aspects associated with Minyma Tjukurrpa – the women’s Creation stories. Her paintings refer to the Tingari Ancestors and the significant sites that they created on their journeys across her ancestral lands.
In the Tingari Creation or Dreaming stories a group of Creation ancestors travelled across the Western Desert region towards the east. The events of their journey created all the landmarks and sacred sites throughout that country. Events associated with the Tingari Cycle are of a secret nature so limited general information only is available.
Generally, the Tingari are a group of mythical characters of the Dreaming who travelled over vast stretches of the country, performing rituals, creating and shaping particular sites and teaching law and ceremony to the Pintupi people. Their travels and adventures are enshrined in a number of song cycles. These mythologies form part of the teachings of the post-initiatory youths today as well as providing explanations for contemporary customs. Events that took place during these Ancestral journeys occurred at specific sites throughout Pintupi homelands. Ceremonial song and dance cycles are performed by the Pintupi people as a form of respect for the teachings of these Ancestors. Many aspects of the Tingari story remain known only to the initiated.