Rosie was born at Pawarla, north of the Granites area in the Tanami Desert. She has ancestral rights over the wampana (wallaby), janganpa (possum), ngurlu (seed) and kulukuku (bush pigeon) Dreamings, which were passed from her father, Wayipurlungu.
Tasman’s traditional country, Miya Miya and Pawarla and the Dreamings associated with these particular sites, provide the inspiration and imagery for her distinctive paintings. She says that painting provides her with a ‘happy way’ in which to make her culture strong.
Rosie Napurrurla Tasman was first introduced to the medium of acrylic paint in 1986 when the first works from Lajamanu were created for a public audience. Since then, painting has played a fundamental role in the ritual and ceremonial life of her family. Both of her siblings, Teddy Japurrurla Morrison and Molly Napurrurla Tasman are establised artists in the Lajamanu community, and her daughter Denise Napangardi Robertson is one of the younger generation of Warlpiri artists.
Tasman’s work alternates between intricate dotted circular motifs and bold gestural brush strokes. Her palette oscillates from traditional ochre colours to a freer application of bright yellows, reds and blues. In her janganpa (possum) Dreaming, she employs a technique of a white monochrome background to enhance the kuruwarri (ancestral designs) of the janganpa ancestor and his travels across the country. Her ngurlu (seed) Dreamings employ a technique where the iconography of the seed is mirrored in a background circular pattern of dots. This reinforces the essential elements of the seed Dreaming.