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Bambatu Napangardi


Kungka Tjukurrpa | 90h x 60w | RK205

Not framed or stretched | Acrylic on linen

Bambatu Napangardi was born in around 1940 in Winron, Pintupi country, across the Western Australian border, east of Kiwirrkura. She grew up in the bush living a traditional life with her family, hunting and living off the land, as did her ancestors since the dreamtime began.

While visiting relatives in Balgo, she met Dinni Campbell Tjampitjinpa and they married in Balgo. Dinni’s older brother, Anatjari Tjampitjinpa, was one of the original artists painting in Papunya. He watched the old men painting during the 70’s and assisted his brother Anatjari for some monts. By doing this, he gained valuable experience in mixing colours, laying out stories onto canvas and helping to paint. During one of these visits to Papunya in 1981, Uta Uta Tjangala invited Dinni as one of the men to assist him to paint a very large canvas depicting events at the site of Yumari. To be asked by Uta Uta to assist in painting was regarded as a great honour. When Dinni finished his apprenticeship and became an artist in his own right. Dinni and Bambatu have four sones and two daughters. Sadly, Dinni passed away in 2000.

Bambatu started painting her own dreamtime stories passed on to her by her Mother, Father and her famous husband. The skills and techniques she learnt from her husband and by watching the old men paint is now applied to her own paintings, her works are quite typical of the old men and women from Kintore and Papunya. In Bambatu's paintings, the concentric circles represent waterholes, and the parallel dotted lines represent the path travelled. This painting depicts the paths travelled by ancestral ceremonial women, as they moved between the waterholes of Wirrulunga, Central Australia to the Papunya region.

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