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Makinti Napanangka AM (c. 1922 - 2011)

Makinti Napanangka AM (c. 1922 - 2011)

Makinti Napanangka AM (c.1922 - 2011) was a senior Pintupi woman and highly acclaimed Papunya Tula artist whose influence on Western Desert art and Australian contemporary art cannot be understated.

Born south of Kintore in the Lake MacDonald region that straddles the border between Western Australia and the Northern Territory, Napanangka lived a traditional lifestyle with her family before moving east from her Country to re-settle at Haasts Bluff.

Napanangka began painting with the Haasts Bluff-Kintore project in 1994, and for Papunya Tula Artists in 1996 where she became a leading artist among contemporary Pintupi women painters.

With a subtle light-filled palette of yellows and soft pinks and purples, Napanangka painted the travels of the Kungka Jutjarra (Two Ancestral Women), a predominant Western Desert women’s story. Her painterly, free-flowing linework evocative of the movement and texture of the swirling hair-string skirts worn by Pintupi women during these ceremonies. Her works also depicted Country, presenting rock holes of Lupulnga in brilliant desert colours. 

Napanangka’s soft-hued yet energetically painted works received broad critical and commercial success and she quickly became one of Papunya Tula’s most sought-after painters, with work included most public institutions in Australia, and several significant collections in Australia and abroad. Following her passing in 2011, Napanangka was posthumously awarded a Member of the Order of Australia, recognised for her service to the art and to women painters of the Western Desert Art movement.

                                                           © Makinti Napanangka/Copyright Agency, 2023

© Alcaston Gallery 2023

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