Lena Nyadbi


Born: 31/12/1935
Language: Gija, Kimberley Kriol
Skin: Nyawurru
Ngarrangarni / Totem: Emu, echidna
Region: The Kimberley



Lena Nyadbi was born at Warnmarnjulugun Lagoon (near Greenvale Station) and grew up on Old Lissadell Station. Like other young girls she was put to work on the station at an early age. She worked a wide range of jobs including mustering cattle, milking the cows and general station duties. She moved to the new Lissadell Station when it was relocated due to the development of Lake Argyle, and it was there she met her first husband, Ben Bandi. Nyadbi spent many years watching and learning from some well-known Warmun artists who have now passed away, in particular Paddy Jaminji, who taught her the techniques of grinding ocher and charcoal, and of rubbing the charcoal into the canvas with her hands. However, Nyadbi did not start painting until 1998 as she was always working at other jobs in the community. Nyadbi has painted at the Warmun Art Center since it commenced operation in August 1998 and has developed an international reputation as an original and dynamic painter. Lena has had several successful solo exhibitions at Niagara Gallery. In 2006, Nyadbi was one of eight artists featured in the musee du quai Branly project in Paris and the relationship continued in 2013 when Nyadbi's Dayiwul Lirlmim was recreated large scale on the rooftop, visible from the Eiffel Tower.


Dayiwul Ngarranggarni (Barramundi Dreaming)
Jimbirla (Spearhead) country
Significant sites on her traditional country near Argyle Diamond Mine


Cottonwood (Bombas Ceiba) with Ocher Pigment and PVA Fixative


1999 'Ngalangangpum Jarrakpu Purrurn: Mother and Child', Margaret Stewart, Magabala Books, Broome, WA
2006 'LandMarks', Judith Ryan, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Vic
2010 'Lena Nyadbi - Painting My Country - Always', Maggie Fletcher, Warmun Art Center, WA


Art Gallery of NSW
Art Gallery of Western Australia
Candy Bennett Collection, Adelaide, SA
Clemenger Collection, Sydney, NSW
Harvey Wagner Collection, USA
Kaplan Collection, USA
Kerry Stokes Collection
Murdoch University Art & Poster Collection, WA
Musee Du Quai Branly, Paris, France
Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory
National Australia Bank
National Gallery of Victoria (Ian Potter Gallery), VIC
Notre Dame University Collection, Broome, WA
Ron Whyte Collection, NSW
Strachan Collection, Melbourne, VIC
Western Mining Corporation Collection
Harold Mitchell Foundation
Musee Du Quai Branly, Paris, France
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra


2014 Aboriginal Award, Western Australian of the Year Awards
2015 State Finalist, Senior Australian of the Year