Makinti Napanangka was born in 1930 in the Lake MacDonald region of Central Australia. She moved to Haasts Bluff with her husband, where she lived until Papunya was established in 1960. Makinti began painting in 1995, when she participated in the Kintore/Haasts Bluff collaborative canvas project, ‘Minyma Tjukurrpa’. The interest in Pintupi women’s art arose in the mid-1990s, quite late in the history of the contemporary Aboriginal art movement. It was in 1996 that Makinti Napanangka, along with her cousin and painting companion, Tatali Nangala, began painting for Papunya Tula Artists.
Makinti Napanangka’s paintings often consist of interwoven, lightly coloured lines, which represent the hairstring skirts of the ‘Kungka Kutjarra’ or Two Women, who feature prominently in Pintupi ancestral stories. These hairstring skirts are worn by Pintupi women in their ceremonies when they reaffirm these mythological stories through dance and song.
In the January 2003 edition of The Australian Art Collector Makinti was named as one of Australia’s top 50 most collectable artists.
Makinti Napanangka was selected for inclusion in the retrospective exhibition Papunya Tula: Genesis and
Genius, held at Sydney’s Art Gallery of New South Wales in 2000. Since then she has had four solo exhibitions, and in 2003 she was a finalist in the esteemed Clemenger Art Award held at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.
In 2008 she won the covetedTelstra Art Award for her painting depicting the rockhole site at Lupulnga.
“Napanangka’s paintings often depict designs associated with the travels of the Kungka Kutjarra (Two Ancestral Women). The lines entering the upper section of Untitled, 2000, represent the handspun, hair-string skirts worn by women during ceremonies. The celebratory nature of these performances is expressed in the hedonistic play of colour and form across the painting’s surface. Napanangka’s art personifies the ongoing presence of Pintupi cultural traditions in the contemporary painting movement.”
Hetti Perkins in ‘Tradition today: Indigenous art in Australia’, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2014
Sadly in Makinti Napananka passed away in 2011.
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney
Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane
Museum & Art Gallery of the NT, Darwin
Shell Aboriginal Art Fund Collection
Macquarie Bank, Sydney
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