Beth Nungarrayi Patrick

Born: c.1950

Region: Lajamanu, Northern Territory

Language group: Walpiri

Beth Nungarrayi Patrick was born in Yuendumu.

An Aboriginal Community in the Central Western Desert of the Northern Territory of Australia around 300 kilometers Northwest of Alice Springs.

The largest regional community of Central Australia.

She commenced painting in 1986 whilst living in the desert community of Lajamanu also know as Hooker Creek on the edge of the Tanami desert.

She participated in a course offered there by the Northern Territory Governments Training and Further Education Unit on Traditional Painting.

This course of action developed following the success of traditional paintings at Papunya another central desert community.

This movement was started by Geoffry Barden a local school teacher in Papunya at the time, who encouraged the men in the community to paint their traditional stories.

She and her husband Paddy Patrick Jangala (dec) were at the fore front of the development of the Lajamanu painting enterprise and the development of the community art centre.

They were among the original group of artists to begin painting at Lajamanu.

They wore T shirts with the words "Past present and future bought together at the Lajamanu School".

Art from the Lajamanu Warnayaka Art Centre has now been exhibited worldwide.

The artists at the centre continue to be committed to passing on the culture to the young people of the community and hold regular sessions with the local school.

Lajamanu is not on the traditional lands of the Walpiri people.

However, in the 1950s a group of Walpiri living in Yuendemu had been moved to Hooker Creek by the Government as there was a drought in the area.

The community was overcrowded and although this was not their country and after the people made several attempts to return to Yuendemu a settlement was eventually made, and it remains there today.

Beth Nungarrayi Patrick and the people of Lajamanu retain their links to the Walpiri of Yuendemu.