Wentja Napaltjarri

Wentja Napaltjarri

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DOB: 1953

Wentja Napaltjarri was born at Malparinga, and grew up west of Kintore in her father's country, located in the Gibson Desert on the Western Australia/ Northern Territory border. Wentja is the daughter of one of the founders of the Desert painting movement, Shorty Langkata. Wentja Napaltjarri has three sisters who are also well known artists- Wentja 1, Tjunkiya, and Linda Syddick.

Wentja Napaltjarri No 2 has been painting all of her life. Her first works were collaborative, helping out the men in the family with their work. While they painted the stories, Wentja did the dotting in-fill, characteristic of the Papunya Tula artists to whom her father belonged.

Wentja now lives at Mt Liebig with her husband Ginger Tjakamarra (son of well known artist Makinti Napanangka) and with her sons. Wentja began her own career there, painting for Watiyawanu Artists. Wentja mostly paints Blue Tongue Lizard and Water Dreaming stories, the iconography for which has been handed down to her by her father. She also paints Sandhills, Rockholes, and other landmarks associated with Water and Desert Oaks.

In contrast to her father's work, Wentja's paintings are less geometric with a softening of iconography through interlacing with intricate finely dotted patterning. This soft dotting technique is characteristic of many of the Mount Liebig women artists with whom she paints.


  • The Luczo Family Collection, USA


Selected Group Exhibitions

2019 Defining Tradition: the first wave & its disciples, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney