Born on 5 August 1971, Nyuwara, whose language group was Pitjantjatjara, was born at Ernabella Hospital, SA. Her mother, Tjunkaya Tapaya, an established artist, is Pitjantjatjara and comes from Antalya. Her father was from Tipany and his first language was Yangkunytjarjara. Nuywara attended Ernabella School and Woodville High School until 1988. The next year she began working in the screenprinting workshop at Ernabella Arts. She began experimenting with acrylic paints with immediate success. Later in 1989 she attended an information gathering tour of Darwin and Bathurst Island and began studying batik techniques. In November, she exhibited both paintings and batiks in Ernabella Arts’s Wiritjuta exhibition at Araluen Arts Centre in Alice Springs.

In 1990 she continued her studies in design and fabric printing and attended the opening of Ernabella Arts’s exhibition Ngura Kutjara at the Tandanya Aboriginal Cultural Institute in Adelaide. In 1991, 1992 and 1993 her fabric prints were exhibited in the Central Australian Aboriginal Art and Craft Exhibition at the Araluen Arts Centre. Her fabrics were also shown in Kutjupa-Kutjupa , Ernabella Arts’s exhibition at the Aboriginal Artists Gallery in Sydney in 1991. In April 1992 Nyuwara attended the opening of Raiki Tjuta , Ernabella Arts’s exhibition at the Women’s Gallery in Melbourne. In June 1992 she spent two weeks in Yogyakata, Indonesia studying dye techniques and cap printing. In September 1992 one of Nyuwara’s caps was exhibited in the National Aboriginal Art Award and purchased by the Art Gallery of South Australia. This exposure and an exhibition of her fabric designs in an Alice Springs Gallery attracted several design commissions for T-shirts and a doona cover of the print Waru from the Community Arts Abroad catalogue. Nyuwara also studied printmaking and lithography and produced popular screenprint designs for fabrics.

Johnson, Vivien
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