Linda Syddick Napaltjarri was born in the Gibson Desert of Western Australia, at Lake Mackay in 1937 and lived a traditional life until the late 60’s. Her mother, Wanala Nangala, was Pintupi. Her father, Rintje Tjungurrayi, was Pirjantjatjara. Her uncle was Uta Uta Tjungala. Rintje was killed by a revenge spearing party when Linda was an infant. Her step-father was Shorty Langkata Tjungurrayi. Her Pintupi name is Tjunkiya Wukula Napaltjarri but she uses the name of her second husband, Musty Syddick or Cedick.
As a young woman at Haasts Bluff Linda Syddick Napaltjarri was taught Christianity by the Lutheran missionaries and this has impacted greatly on her work as she explores the interconnectedness of the Christian and Aboriginal Mythologies. Her step father was the on of the principal painters at the Papunya Tula Community and by assisting him she learnt his stories and techniques. Her paintings were initially in the traditional aerial view format but later became directional as her literal depictions of the spirit beings penetrated her work. The first painting in the new style was ‘Crucifixion’ which was accepted for the Blake Prize Exhibition in 1989. In 1992, after viewing the movie ‘ET’, twenty times Linda painted the first in a series of paintings about ET. She saw ET as an Ancestral spirit from another place and paralleled this story with the Christian story of Jesus.
Over the last few years Linda’s paintings have displayed images of more traditional ancestral beings.