Born: near Kiwirrkurra, WA
LANGUAGE GROUP: Pintupi
COMMUNITY: Kiwirrkurra, WA
Monica (Wanguka) Napaltjarri was born around 1960 in the bush outside Kiwirrkurra community, about 700 kilometres west of Alice Springs, across the Western Australian border.
Monica's family is deeply involved in the aboriginal art movement: After her parent's death she was raised by her brother Yumpululu Tjungurrayi, who was one of the older artists at Papunya. Her half brother, Joseph Jurra Tjapaltjarri is the past Chairman of Papunya Tula Artists, her half sister, Payu West Napaltjarri is a gifted painter, as is her daughter Maisie. Through marriage, Monica is related to Kiwirrkurra's women's painting group.
Monica herself started to paint in 1996, though she only took up painting full time in the 2000s. Monica paints
women's dreamings for her grandfather's and grandmother's country, and often spends time at her community's sacred sites, especially the women's cave, a place of resting and healing.
She currently lives in Kiwirrkurra, but also spends substantial time in Alice Springs.
Selected Group Exhibitions
2019 Defining Tradition: the first wave & its disciples, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney