Stumpy Brown (Nyuju) | Artist Profile

Details of Stumpy Brown (Nyuju)


Nyuju Stumpy Brown is a Wangkajunga woman who was born in 1924 on the Canning Stock Route at a place called Ngapawarlu. She lost her mother and father at an early age and was brought up by her uncle Jamali who was droving bullocks on the Canning Stock Route. He took Nyuju to Balgo when she was a little girl and returned to Fitzroy Crossing where Nyuju grew up and lived most of her life. She married Pukulu who has since passed away. He was a leader in the church at the old Fitzroy Mission. He was the father of their three daughters, now grown up. She worked on the Emmanuel Station around Fitzroy Crossing doing domestic work, cooking and cleaning.

She says of her early life:
"I was born along the Canning Stock Route. I came to Balgo on a camel. This was the first time I came in from the bush. I was a young girl with no breasts. Later I worked in the kitchen at Bohemia Downs Station. We got no money for work. We got tea, meat and tobacco."

In later life she married her second husband, Hitler Pampa. They lived at Mindi Bardi in Fitzroy Crossing where Nyuju was an important woman in the community for Law and culture. At Nyanpi (corroboree) time she ran the ceremonies for young children.

"No sleep, all night making Nyampi right through to daylight. Then we go back to sleep."

Stumpy said that her country, Kukapunyu "is desert country. There are no rivers, we never see running water like rivers, only creeks after the rain; only jlji (sandhills)." Nyuju carried the Women's Law from the Wangkatjunga side right through to the desert side at Balgo. Rover Thomas was her full brother.

After a stroke in 2007 Stumpy no longer practised as a painter. She died in 2011.


2009 Mangkaja Survey Show, Short St Gallery, Broome, WA
2008 Wet n'Wild, Artkelch, Freiburg, Germany
2008 Mangkaja Arts, A P Bond Art Dealer, Adelaide, SA
2008 Marnintu Maparnana, Red Dot Gallery, Singapore
2008 Shalom Gamarada, Caspary Conference Centre, University of NSW
2007 Kila, Jilji and Miyi, Cool-Art, Sunshine Coast, QLD
2007 X Marks the Spot, Woolloongabba Art Gallery, Brisbane, QLD
2007 Bendi Lango, Fireworks Gallery, Brisbane, QLD
2005 The Power of Colourfield, Gallery Gondwana, Alice Springs, NT
2005 22nd Telstra Art Awards, Museum & Art Gallery of NT, Darwin, NT
2005 Surprise...Cory and Friends, Red Dot Gallery, Singapore
2004 Three Mangkaja Women, Gallery Gondwana, Alice Springs, NT
2003 Solo Show, Bothwell/Draper Gallery, Redfern, NSW
2003 Jila, Jumu, Jiwari & Wirrkujaa, University of WA, Perth WA
2003 Mangkaja Marninwarnti, Raft Artspace, Darwin, NT
2002 Group Show, Art Mob Gallery, Hobart, TAS
2002 Recent Works from Mangkaja, Short st. Gallery, Broome, WA
2002 Short on Size, Short St. Gallery, Broome, WA
2001 Fitzroy Women, Short St. Gallery, Broome, WA
2001 Short on Size, Short St. Gallery, Broome, WA
2001 Ngurrara Canvas, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, ACT
2001 Mangkaja Arts: Ten Years On, Mangkaja's 10th Year Anniversary Show, Tandanya, Adelaide, SA
2000 Short on Size, Short St. Gallery, Broome, WA
2000 Past Modern, Short St. Gallery at Australia Square, Sydney, NSW
1999 Ngurrara, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle, WA
1999 Short on Size, Short st. Gallery, Broome, WA
1998 Group Show, Rebecca Hossack Gallery, London
1997 Group Show, Hogarth Gallery, Sydney, NSW
1996 Heritage Commission Art Award, Old Parliament House, Canberra, ACT
1996 Group Show, Hogarth Gallery, Sydney, NSW
1995 Kimberley Art, Melbourne, Vic
1995 Group Show, Australian Perspectives Gallery, Brisbane, Qld
1994 This is my country: Mangkaja Arts exhibition at Artplace, Claremont , Festival of Perth, WA
1993 Images of Power: Aboriginal Art of the Kimberley, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Vic
1993 Mangkaja Women, Fremantle Art Centre, WA
1992 Group Show, Hogarth Gallery, Sydney, NSW
1991 Mangkaja Arts Group Show, Karrayili at Tandanya, Adelaide, SA


National Gallery of Australia
National Gallery of Victoria
Berndt Museum of Anthropology, University of Western Australia
Northern Territory University
Laverty Collection


2005 Kimberley Art Prize


2003 Martuwarra and Jila, Juma,Jiwari and Wirrkuja, Cullity Gallery UWA Perth/Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency
2001 Painting Up Big: The Ngurrara Canvas, Katja Now, National Aboriginal Cultural Institute, Tandanya, SA
2000 Ngurrara Entry, Oxford companion to Aboriginal Art, Oxford University Press & ANU
2000 Karrayili, The History of Karrayili Adult Education Centre, IATSIS Canberra
1998 Jila: Painted Waters of the Great Sandy Desert, Video Documentary / SBS Television.
1996 Yirra: Land Law and Language, Strong and Alive, Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Culture Centre Publication
1994 Ngajakurra Ngurrara Minyarti: This is my Country, Exhibition Catalogue
1993 Mangkaja Women's Exhibition Catalogue
1993 Images of Power: Aboriginal Art from the Kimberley, Exhibition Catalogue
1991 Karrayili: Ten years On, Exhibition Catalogue

Artworks of Stumpy Brown (Nyuju)

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