Lucy Yukenbarri
Winpurpulla Rockhole in The Great Sandy Desert

1998 (AK5067)
Synthetic polymer paint on linen
150 x 100 cm
© The Estate of the Artist and Warlayirti Artists, WA

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Lucy Yukenbarri

Born c. 1934 – 5th April 2003, Winpupulla, Western Australia

Lucy Yukenbarri was born at Winpurpulla, north of Kiwirrkurra in Western Australia. She began painting in 1989 initially guided by the prescribed technique of forming lines through rows of continous dotting, which was common among Balgo artists at the time. Finding her own voice over the next few years, Yukenbarri created a unique technique; the self-coined kinti-kinti (close-close). This innovative method entailed painted dots applied so closely together that they began to converge, thus creating dense masses of pigment layered upon the canvas. This pioneering aesthetic raised Yukenbarri’s profile profoundly.

Winpullpulla Rockhole in The Great Sandy Desert 1998, painted just five years before Yukenbarri’s passing, depicts the Winpullpulla Rockhole, a source of permanent water in the artist’s country. A line of red pamarr (stones) sits alongside the central black rockhole, serving as a windbreaker. Lines of green near the top of the painting depict lush tree-life, while orange lines illustrate the sand dunes which dominate the region. At one and half metres high this work reads like a visual poem, guiding one’s eyes continuously around canvas.

Yukenbarri was married to esteemed artist Helicopter Tjungurrayi and her children all inherited a creative bent. Sadly passing away prematurely at the height of her career, we feel collectors will deeply enjoy seeing her paintings once again.


  • Lucy Yukenbarri in conjunction with Warlayirti Artists, Western Australia 1998
  • Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne 1999
  • Private Collection, Melbourne 2002


  • Tjurrnu – Living Water, Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne 1999
  • Warlayirti: The Art of Balgo, RMIT Gallery, Melbourne 2014; Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs 2014-15
  • Provenance Does Matter: The Collectors’ Exhibition, Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne 2016


  • Healy, J. (ed.), Warlayirti : the Art of Balgo, RMIT Gallery, Melbourne 2014, p. 139 (illus.)