Yurpiya was born in 1960 at the homeland Donald’s Well, near Kenmore Park, about 45 kms east of Ernabella. She is the daughter of
Pantjiti Lionel, a very senior Pitjantjatjara woman and artist. Her family lived in Ernabella where she attended school. In 2004
Yurpiya started painting at Ernabella Arts and is now a leader of the women’s painting studio. She has three children and several
grandchildren – her daughters Rachael and Alison Lionel are rising stars of the painting and ceramic studios.
Yurpiya is also a very accomplished fibre sculptor and weaver. In 2011 her work was acquired by the University of Newcastle. In
2015 Yurpiya was a finalist in the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards, and in 2018 she was a finalist in the
In 2017 she exhibited alongside her two daughters and her mother in The Lionel family – Tjukurpa titutjura kunpu ngaranytjaku
(Keeping our tjukurpa strong forever.)
In 2018 Sabbia Gallery featured her work at Sydney Contemporary. In the same year, her paintings were exhibited in APY LANDS LA: Central Desert Painters of Australia in Los Angeles.
In 2020 she participated in Nganampa ngura-nguru nyurampa ngurakutu (From our place to your place) at Aboriginal Signature in
Yurpiya continues to exhibit both nationally and internationally.
2020 Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize, Finalist
2018 Wynne Prize, Finalist
2015 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award, Finalist
2007 Special Mention, Alice Springs Beanie Festival, Araluen Cultural Precinct, Alice Springs
University of Newcastle, 2011
Info courtesy Ernabella Arts (c)