Candy Nelson Nakamarra was born in Yuendumu in 1964, daughter to renowned Papunya Tula artist Johnny Warangkula, who taught his children how to paint whilst passing down family stories. They all paint the Kalipinypa Water Dreaming story, of the rain and hail making ceremony, which Candy continues to explore and reinvent.
Candy has a distinct, evolving style, employing bold contrasting colours and layering of drips, drawing and outlining to create sophisticated, sought after contemporary works, which she says “look as if they are breathing, with the drawing elements popping out of the canvas’”. Candy represents tali (sandhills) and running water in her backgrounds, and uses dotting to represent hail storms and rain. Through drawing shapes and motifs, she represents the waterholes, running water, bush tucker, water birds and flowers present after a big storm and the wanampi (water snake) which lives under the waterhole. Recently, Candy has also started creating works in a more traditional style, directly referencing her father's original paintings.
Winner of the Interrelate Acquisitive Prize as part of the Wollotuka Acquisitive Art Prize (2012), her work is held in the Macquarie Bank Collection, Parliament House Canberra Collection and the Hassall Collection.