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Josina Pumani

Josina Pumani

Josina Pumani is a Pitjantjatjara woman, born in Mimili in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands of far north-west South Australia. Pumani’s father is Shannon Kantji, a senior Yankunytjatjara leader, and her mother, Kunmanara Ngupulya Pumani, and grandmother, Kunmanara Milatjari Pumani, were two of the founders of Mimili Maku Arts. Both women taught Pumani cultural leadership and about their strong connection with their Country, Antara, and the Tjukurpa storylines centred on maku, the witchetty grub

Pumani began painting in 2009, around the time she became an arts worker at Mimili Maku Arts. Pumani assisted the senior artists during this time, learning from her Elders whilst developing skills in canvas preparation and studio support.

In 2015, Pumani moved to Adelaide to further her education, however following her mother Kunmanara Ngupulya Pumani’s passing in 2019, she moved back to Mimili to build on the cultural leadership displayed by her mother, supporting her local community and reconnecting with her art practice.

In 2021, Alcaston Gallery presented Pumani’s first solo exhibition, alongside work by her aunt, Betty Kuntiwa Pumani, cousin, Marina Pumani Brown and late mother, Kunmanara Ngupulya Pumani in the exhibition Nganampa Walytja, Antara. In the same year Pumani was shortlisted for the $30,000 acquisitive Paddington Art Prize 2021 for paintings inspired by the Australian landscape.

Pumani’s work reflects the painting style she learnt from generations of women in her family, and today she is one of Mimili Maku’s brightest rising stars

© The Artist, Mimili Maku and Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne 2021


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