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Louise Numina Napananka

Louise Numina (b. 1976) is an Anmatyerre artist from Ti Tree, 190km North of Alice Springs in Central Australia. She grew up on Stirling Station, a cattle station south of Tennant Creek along with her six sisters and three brothers, where she attended primary school and later moved to Alice Springs to attend Yirara College.

After she completed her school studies Louise moved back to Stirling station and worked with the Community Development Program. Her aunties, Gloria and Kathleen Petyerre, taught Louise to paint in 1981 and she sold her art through galleries in Alice Springs and across the Northern Territory up to Darwin, where she eventually moved in 1995. Louise, her sisters and two brothers are the children of Barbara Pananka Price and the late Douglas Petyarre, and it was two of Douglas’ sisters – the internationally-renowned Gloria and Kathleen Petyarre – who taught their nieces to paint the Bush Medicine Leaf ceremony and Thorny Lizard Dreaming. The Numina Sisters are also the great nieces of Emily Kngwarreye and Kudditji Kngwarreye, who along with Minnie Pwerle and Ada Bird Petyarre, are the most internationally acclaimed artists of the Aboriginal Art Movement of the Utopia Aboriginal Lands of the Eastern Desert.

One of Louise’s best known stories depict Kurrajong Bush Medicine Leaves. The women collect the Kurrajong leaves from around the central desert area. The leaves are then boiled in a large tin bucket. The Kurrajong leaves are good for treating the flu, headache, backache, upset stomach and chest pains – where the leaves are repeatedly firmly pressed against the persons back or chest. For cuts and bruises the leaves are boiled longer until the oils float in them, it is mixed with an animal fat then applied to the wounds.

In August 2017, couture designer Pia du Pradal launched a range of ‘resort wear’ featuring Louise’s Bush Medicine Leaf design at the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in Brisbane. 

Her art has been exhibited throughout Australia and is popular with art dealers and collectors worldwide.