Makinti Napanangka

Date of Birth:

c.1930 - 2011


Kintore, NT




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Makinti NAPANANGKA was an impressive and prolific female artist and painted for the  Papunya Tula Art community

 Her bold and striking contemporary paintings saw her win the prestigious Telstra Art Award in 2008.

Makinti was encouraged to start painting in the mid 1990's at a community art project at Kintore, she then went on to develop her own original, flamboyant, wild and very energetic style.

As a senior Aboriginal law-women, Makinti had a deep understanding and connection to her culture and country. 

The Australian Art Collector magazine listed Makinti as one of 50 of Australia's most collectable artists in 2003, 2004 and 2005.

Makinti‘s linear  paintings are bold and strong, they show the travels of the Kungka Kutjarra, two sisters.  The wavering lines represent the hair string skirts worn by the women during sacred ceremonies that are associated with their spiritual sites.  The flowing and rhythmic movement of the lines on Makinti's paintings also represent the songs and dances performed by these Pintupi women.

Judith Ryan, senior curator at the National Gallery of Victoria, described Makinti's entry in the 2003 Clemenger Contemporary Art Award as: ".....concerned with touching and sensing with fingers, rather than purely visual. The repetition of colour chords and textured striations, which closely echo each other, has a rhapsodic effect akin to many bodies in dance and reveals the inner or spiritual power, the essence, of Makinti Napanagnka's country and cultural identity. The energetic lines invoke body paint for women’s business, and more particularly represent spun hair-string, which is used to make belts worn by women during ceremonies associated with the rockhole site of Lupulnga, a Peewee Dreaming place."

Reviewing the same exhibition, Robert Nelson described her work as "sensual and chromatically effusive painting".


The round circles that appear on some these paintings refer to Kuningka (the Western Quoll)