Born : 1981, Alice Springs, NT
Skin Name: Nangala
Country: Kintore, NT.
Esther was born in Alice Springs in 1981 and brought up in Christmas Creek, near Fitzroy Crossing, and later in Kintore. She is considered an emerging artist from the Papunya area, an area in the Western Desert approximately 240 km to the northwest of Alice Springs. She is the granddaughter of Naata Nungurrayi, an international legend of the desert art movement and Naata is sister to the equally renown aboriginal artist George Tjungarrayi, making Esther’s painting heritage long and deep.
She was schooled at Yirara College in Alice which is an Aboriginal boarding school for indigenous students, where she was taught art and schooled in both Pintupi and English. After returning to Kintore in 1999, Esther’s painting showed renewed confidence and she benefitted from a long apprenticeship under Naata and her skin sister, Nancy Ross Nungurrayi. At the same time, Esther was involved in important cultural initiatives such as the translation of some Pintupi songs into English.
Initially involved in community collaborative painting centres, Esther started to paint in her own right in 2009. Since that time, she has made stunning leaps forward in the development of her style and method of relating the stories around the important woman's site of Marrapinti. Bold in her use of colour and tending towards intricate designs, Esther represents an exciting view into the future of desert art. She paints bold traditional designs associated with women's sites, ceremonies and the laws of her Country. Esther's works are vibrant and brightly coloured and often in a palette resembling ochre colours. Her is often tactile and textured due to the large quantity of paint she applies to the linen. The influence of her grandmother's work is evident in Esther's paintings, who is known for her representations of Women's Law and Tingari Cycle.