Mary Roberts was born in Haasts Bluff/Ikuntji in 1974, daughter of senior lawman Murphy Roberts Tjupurrula, and granddaughter of Limpi Tjapangati, one of the early Papunya Tula painters. Mary first learnt to paint by watching these men, and was encouraged to paint her grandfather’s stories, with elements of her grandfather's distinctive work discernible in Mary’s work.
Mary began painting at Papunya Tjupi Arts in 2008 and paints the Yalka Tjukurrpa (Bush Onion Dreaming) at Murini, west of Haasts Bluff, NT. She employs dotting to form mesmerising rhythmic lines and shapes, often painted with subtle shifts in lighter colours onto a contrasting dark background. She depicts this traditional bush food through her use of circles and their emanating lines and represents water holes through concentric circles, women through U shapes and wana (digging sticks), creek beds and watiya (trees) through parallel lines.
Mary’s work is held in the Artbank Collection and University of Western Sydney Collection.