Makinti Napanangka was born around 1930 in the Lake MacDonald region in the Western Australian/Northern Territory desert. She and her family walked in to Haasts Bluff in the early 1940’s before the Papunya Community was established.
She began painting in acrylic during the mid 1990s as a member of the Haasts Bluff-Kintore painting project and quickly developed her own distinctive style. Her paintings typically consist of a complex pattern of pale lines over an orange or ochre coloured background. This is then set off with mauve or bright yellow highlights.
Makinti’s work incorporates designs associated with the travels of the ‘Kungka Kutjarra’ (two women). The wandering lines that so often feature in her paintings depict the swirling hair string skirts worn by women during ceremonies associated with certain sites.
While the patterning refers to the skirts, the flowing rhythms of the lines hint at the songs and dances of the Pintupi women’s ceremonies. While most of Makinti’s imagery is related to the Kungka Kutjarra, it can also refer to the Kuningka – the western quoll – which is represented by circles.
In 2003, 2004 and 2005 Makinti was named as one of Australia’s 50 most collectable artists by the Art Collector Magazine.
Sadly Makinti passed away in 2011, and later that year she was posthumously awarded the Member of the Order of Australia, for “service to the arts as a contemporary Indigenous artist”.