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Our Country! Pintupi Women from Haast Bluff

Katungka Napanangka, Narputta Nangaia, Eunice Napanangka Jack, Linda Naparrula, Alice Nampitjinpa Dixon and Inkitjili Nampitjinpa

27 July - 15 August 2001

In partnership with Ikuntji Arts


Narputta Nangala is a matriarch of the community and was wife to the head man Timmy Jugadai who passed away many years ago. Narputta paints the country of Lake McDonald or Karrkurutintytja, west of Kintore, a vast salt lake country. She fills the flat plains with bush tucker, including the sandhills, the soakage water and rocky out crops to tell hunting stories and important dreaming stories. Narputta often includes her family and ancestors as figures in her paintings as well as sand goannas and carpet snakes.


Eunice Napanangka and Alice Nampitjinpa are two senior Pintupi artists. Both have close ties to the Papunya Tula artists with Eunice first painting with her husband, Kumanjayi Tjupurrla at Papunya and Alice is the daughter of Uta Uta Tjangala.

Whilst their early paintings reflected the style of the Papunya Tula artists often representing their stories with a field of dots and symbols both women have developed individual expressions of their dreaming stories.

Eunice’s paintings are sensitive interpretations of her country near Lake Mackay. She uses layers of vivid colours with stippled brush strokes to build up a vision of the bush flowers and grasses of her country. After the heavy rains this year the red centre is bursting full of the rich colours, which Eunice has depicted so carefully. Located within some of these landscapes are the symbols that denote campsites and special sites. Many of Eunice’s stories are secret and relate to the Lake Tjukurla, which is an important place for her and her husband Kumanjayi Tjupurrla.

Alice’s Tjukurrpa or dreaming story is the porcupine or Tjilkamata. Her place of significance is Talaalpi, a swamp near the West Australian border. She retells her stories with bold, colourful abstractions representing the sandhills and swamplands of her country. The use of the colours yellow and red are important to Alice as they signify the colours of the ochres used in ceremonial body painting. The stories are often the tale of the porcupine searching for tucker or in turn being the source of bush tucker.

Both women are active and successful hunters and relate keenly to their land and stories and take great delight in telling us their dreaming stories in their stunning interpretations.


Inkitjili is an elder sister to Alice and is now an elderly but important senior woman or unkiman. She was also responsible for bringing up Long Tom Tjapanangka, a well-established Pintupi artist.

Inkitjili paints stories from around Kintore, a place known as the Woman Rockhole. There are tracks made on the rock from thousands of years of women dancing up and around on the rock doing the same dance, using nullanullas, which have also left tracks. This is a really important place for women and there are many stories associated with it.


Linda’s country is not far from Haast’s Bluff, near Papunya, at a place called Alkipi. This Pintupi artist describes her country in colourful linear abstractions with constant rhythmic repetitious lines. Linda is an intensely private woman who tells little of her Tjukurpa in her paintings but allows us to see an interpretation of the landscape in vivid colour and form. Linda is also a keen hunter and enjoys regular bush trips to catch sand goannas, witchetty grubs and other bush tucker.


Katungka is the daughter of Katarra Nampitjinpa, an important Pintupi artist who passed away in 2000. Despite watching her mother paint for many years, who only started painting recently at the Ikuntji Women’s and Art Centre. Katungka drives 100 kilometres round trip to and from Papunya every day to paint her stories. She is a devout Christian who is married to Pastor Murphy and regularly participates in religious ceremonies. Katungka appears to reconcile both traditions with respect and integrity and is deeply committed to the transmission of knowledge of both cultures. Katungka paints her mother’s dreaming stories of Tjukurrpa from her country Ulkapa, near Kintore and the Tjukurrpa from her own country at Intinti, both of which are far west of Haast’s Bluff, over the West Australia border.

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