When I was a young girl, I walked everywhere, travelling along the Canning Stock Route. I walked north and west, around Wana warla [lake]. I grew up around there, going right around that Country and all the way back to Kunawarritji.
Kumpaya is a respected Law woman and cultural leader, born in the 1940s close to Kiwirrkura, a rockhole located in the Gibson Desert to the south-west of Lake McKay. Her brothers include the renowned artists Charlie Wallabi (Walapayi) (dec.), Helicopter Tjungurrayi (dec.) and Patrick Tjungurrayi (dec.). Kumpaya grew up in the area surrounding Kiwirrkura, and continued to live a pujiman (traditional, desert dwelling) lifestyle into adulthood. She now lives at Parnngurr with her children and grandchildren.
Kumpaya primarily paints her ngurra (home Country, camp), along the middle section of the Canning Stock Route, and between Punmu Aboriginal Community and Kiwirrkura, more than 500km eastward. Kumpaya learned how to paint and weave baskets while visiting family in Balgo, Fitzroy Crossing and Patjarr, and is credited with introducing these skills to Martu people. Kumpaya’s work has been exhibited widely across Australia and internationally, and acquired by the National Museum of Australia.