D.O.B: c 1964, Mungurry , WA
Region: Western Desert
Language Group: Ngaanyatiarra
Significant Country: Gibson Desert
Barbara Reid Napangardi was born circa 1964 at Mungurry, near Tjukurla, north west of Docker River in Western Australia. Barbara’s family are mainly from the Ngaanyatiarra language group, but she has also inherited Pintupi stories from her father’s mother’s side, including the well known artist Kai Kai Nampintjinpa whom is her father’s mother’s younger sister. The Ngaanyatjarra language group of the Western Desert is one of eight language groups who act as custodians for this vast desert region.
As part of the “round up” Federal Government policies, Barbara’s father, his two wives and Barbara as a small child settled in the newly established Papunya community after they had completed an arduous journey on foot from Mungurry through Tjukurla onto Lupul and to Uluru. Barbara left Papunya to live in Alice Springs when she was about 16years old. In 1987 she began painting with the Centre for Aboriginal Artists. Barbara has a daughter, Susie whom also paints.
Barbara Napangarti depicts the stories of her land, it’s special places and landforms with characteristic puli-rock formations and Tuli- expansive undulating sandhills. As a custodian of these stories embedded in the landforms and the songs that explain them, she is fulfilling her totemic responsibilities. Barbara’s paintings dortray important women’s sacred stories called minyma. These narratives involve the role of the woman as healer and provider within Ngaanyatjarra society.
Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin
Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth
Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane
Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide
National Art Gallery of New Zealand, Wellington
University of Miami, Florida, USA
Lowe Art Museum, Florida, USA
Australian National University, Canberra
Holmes á Court Collection, Perth