Life: c. 1922 - 2011.
Makinti Napanangka was an Aboriginal artist of the Pintupi language from Australia's Western Desert region of Karrkurritinytja. Makinti's first contact with white people was when she saw them them riding camels, while living at Lupul.
In the early 1940's, when Makinti was believed to be in her early 20's, she was one of a large group of people who walked into Haasts Bluff with her husband Nyukuti Tjupurrula (brother of artist Nosepeg Tjupurrula), and their son Ginger Tjakamarra. She stayed in Haasts Bluff during the 1940’s and 50’s, before moving to Papunya in the late 1950’s. She later moved to Kintore when it was developed in the 1980’s. Kintore lies around about 50 kilometres to the north-east side of the Lake MacDonald where she was born, on the border of the Northern Territory and Western Australia.
For many years Makinti Napanangka was the most senior woman painting with the renowned Papunya Tula Artists. As with other Pintupi women exerting their considerable influence on Australian art, Napanangka worked on the collaborative Haasts Bluff/ Kintore women’s painting project. This series of major paintings, completed in 1994 and exhibited at the Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute in Adelaide, marked the beginning of Pintupi women’s participation in the Western Desert art movement as independent artists. Up until then, women had largely worked as collaborators on paintings by their husbands and other close male relatives. Napanangka joined Papunya Tula Artists in 1996. Interest in her work developed quickly, and she is now represented in most significant Australian public art galleries, including the National Gallery of Australia. A finalist in the 2003 Clemenger Contemporary Art Award, Makinti won the NATSIA Award (known as the Telstras) in 2008. Her work was shown in the major indigenous art exhibition Papunya Tula: Genesis and Genius, at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.
Makinti's paintings primarily depict a rockhole site known as Lupul, and a complex dreaming about two women, known as Kungka Kutjarra.
Makinti and her husband, often painted designs associated with travels of Kungka Kutjarra. The linear patterns in her paintings represent the hair-string skirts worn by the Two Women during ceremonies when celebrate these stories through dance and song. The skirts are woven from human hair using a simple spindle made of two sticks.