“I want my art to tell the story of my ancestors and be able to show the world my culture and my traditions.”
Alma Nungarrayi Granites is the daughter of Paddy Japaljarri Sims and Bessie Nakamarra Sims (both founding artists of Warlukurlangu Artists). She was born in 1955, passing away in 2017.
Born in 4 Miles, located near Yuendumu (an Aboriginal community located north-west of Alice Springs), Alma and her sisters would walk each day to attend the local school at Yuendumu. Later on, her family moved permanently to Yuendumu.
Whilst at school, Alma met her husband Robin Japanangk Granites, to whom she had 3 daughters and many grandchildren.
While raising her daughters, Alma worked as a staff member at the local school, and attended Bachelor College where she studied to become an accredited teacher assistant for Warlpiri (her native language) and English. After finishing her studies she worked at the Yuendumu School assisting in the Warlpiri classes.
It was during this time that Alma became aware of the efforts to maintain and preserve culture and traditions. She would observe the elders of the community going to the school to instruct and teach the young generation about the Jukurrpa (Dreaming) and the country associated to this Jukurrpa. Alma became interested in learning more about her heritage and traditions and started attending the courses run by the Old Peoples Program and Adult Education Centre.
Alma started to paint with Warlukurlangu Artists in 1987, although it wasn’t until early 2007 when she started to seriously explore her painting skills. She worked at the art centre everyday to produce a body of work that expanded her knowledge of the dreaming (Jukurrpa). Alma continued the development of her unique technical artistic style to become an accomplished artist.
She painted a large array of stories all of which have been passed down to her from her father and the generations before him. All her paintings tell creation stories that relate to the artist's traditional country.