Nyarapayi Giles

Tjarlirli Art Center

Born: 1940
Region: Tjukurla : WA



Nyarapayi Giles is one of the respected elders of Tjukurla Community. Nyarapayi was born in the Gibson Desert at an important cultural site called 'Karrku'. It is this site and the associated Tjukurrpa that inspires Nyarapayi's 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 1960s. 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 works with ‘purnu’ (wood carving) and still enjoys hunting in the bush. She learned to make baskets woven from spinifex in the 1980s and has a large basket on permanent exhibition on at the Queensland Art Gallery. Nyarapayi Giles works explore her country and associated Tjukurrpa in an exquisite and unique expression of color and movement. Nyarapayi has gained recognition on 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.




British Museum
National Gallery of Victoria Collection
Patrick Corrigan Collection
W & V McGeoch Collection
Sir Charles Gairdner Collection
Aquired by Aruluen Cultural Center 2012
Aquired by Aruluen Cultural Center 2014


2008 Telstra Finalist
2008 Winner Inaugural Sir Charles Gairdner Award
2012  Desert Mob- Major Acquisition