Debbie Brown Napaltjarri was born in Nyirripi, a small Aboriginal community 400km north west of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory of Australia. She did most of her schooling in Nyirripi, although she spent several years at boarding school at Yarara College in Alice Springs.
In 2010, Debbie moved to Yuendumu, 160 km east of Nyirripi, with her husband and son Jarvis to be closer to her husband’s family. She works for the women’s centre there, cooking lunches for the kids at school.
Debbie has been painting for Warlukurlangu Artists since 2006. Warlukurlangu is a not for profit organization that has more than 600 members, all of whom are Indigenous artists. Her Grandmother, Margaret Napangardi Brown, who also paints for Warlukurlangu, taught her how to paint. Her Grandfather was the well known Pintupi artist Pegleg Tjampitjinpa who was born c. 1920 and who has lived a traditional Indigenous life.
In her paintings, Debbie paints her father’s dreamings which relate directly to her land, it’s features, plants and animals. These stories were passed down by to her by her Grandmother and her mother.