Nora Wompi was born in the Great Sandy Desert in Lilparu, close to Well 33, on the Canning Stock Route. She lived a traditional nomadic life and recalls the first time, near Well 33, that she saw a white person. Nomadic life was harsh during dry times and when she was in her early twenties she took the long walk into Balgo Mission with her mother and brother. In Balgo she cooked bread at the bakery and tended to the goats. She also met her husband, Dick Cowboy.
As is common with married couples in Balgo, Wompi and Dick would paint together. They moved from Balgo to Fitzroy Crossing but when Dick passed away, Wompi decided to return to Well 33. She continues to live at Well 33 but visits Balgo regularly to see family and to paint.
Nora Wompi's work oscillates between intricate tracings of familiar country and painterly strokes of bold colour. Her paintings are full of charm and beauty and reverberate with stories of spirit men, spirit dogs and love.
Courtesy of Warlayirti Artists
Sadly, Nora passed away in October 2017.