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Linda Syddick Napaltjarri

Linda Syddick Napaltjarri (c.1937-2021) was a Pintupi woman from the Gibson Desert in Western Australia. Her Aboriginal name is Tjunkiya Wukula Napaltjarri, she was the daughter of Wanala Nangala and Rintja Tjungurrayi. Linda lived a traditional nomadic life with her people until the age of about eight, at this time her family walked out of the desert and decided to settle at the Lutheran Mission at Haasts Bluff, in the Northern Territory.

Linda's paintings were inspired by both her traditional nomadic life in the desert, and the Dreaming of her father and stepfather. Linda's father was killed by a revenge spearing party in accordance with Customary Law when Linda was about eighteen months old; her stepfather, artist Lankata Shorty Tjungurrayi, subsequently brought her up. Before Lungkata died in 1985, he instructed Linda to carry on his work and paint his Dreaming. And so, in 1986, her two Uncles Uta Uta Tjangala and Nosepeg Tjupurrula taught Linda the art of painting. Her mother later married artist Shorty Lungkarta Tjungarrayi. His work was a significant influence on Linda's painting. Linda married several times, and still uses the family name of her second husband Musty Syddick (Cedick).

Linda collected the stories from her life into a series of images that represent the major turning points in her journey. Linda drew on metaphysical stories she later learned in Linda collected the stories from her life into a series of images that represented the major turning points in her journey. 

She often painted the Dreaming story the Witchdoctor and the Windmill. This is a story that Linda loved to paint, it documents the first contact some of her family group had with European settlement, when, in 1945, they walked out of their Pintupi homelands near Lake MacKay in the Gibson Desert, heading east for Haasts Bluff Mission. Linda was eight years old at the time and the 350 kilometres they travelled was largely over rugged sandhill terrain. In 2006, Linda was the winner of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award (NATSIAA) for a representation of this story.

Linda’s work is revered by collectors, academics, and galleries worldwide.