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EILEEN NAPALTJARRI

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BORN: 1956
LANGUAGE GROUP:  Pintupi

REGION: Kintore

Eileen Napaltjarri Eileen Napaltjarri is a highly regarded second generation artist of the Western Desert movement.

Eileen was born in the Haasts Bluff community in December 1956 to the late Charlie Tararu Tjungurrayi, one of the founding members of Papunya Tula Artists who forged a longstanding and innovative artistic career.
Her mother, Tatali Nangala, was another accomplished and prolific painter. Eileen is the wife of leading Kintore artist, Kenny Williams Tjampitjinpa.

Eileen moved from Haasts Bluff to Kintore with her family after the outstation was first established there in the early 1980s.
She often sat beside her parents as they painted. In 1999, after the death of her mother, Eileen began to paint her own stories.

Eileen was the only one of seven siblings to follow her parents' advice and take up painting.
She was reportedly the only one still alive by 2008.

Her "rhythmically abstract paintings", wrote journalist Nicolas Rothwell reviewing a Papunya Tula women's show in Alice Springs in late 2006, "have become the newest sign of the inventiveness of Kintore women."

The main site that Eileen refers to in her painting is her father's birthplace, Tjitjurrulnga (also known as Titjurrulpa), a rockhole to the west of Kintore. She depicts this with parallel and arching lines of the Tali Sandhill Country, which meet and diverge down the canvas, occasionally disrupted with openings and waterholes.

Her distinct palette of rich and vibrant colours reverberates with tonal intensity.

She was named as one of Australian Art Collector magazine's 50 Most Collectible artists in 2008; her works are held by the National gallery of Australia and the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Awards:

  • January 2008 - Included in the Top 50 Most Collectable Artists - Australian Art Collector magazine
  • 2005 - Redlands Westpac Art Prize - emerging Artist category

Selected Collections:

  • National Gallery of Australia
  • Artbank
  • Art Gallery of NSW