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Contemporary art

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art

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Narputta Nangala


circa 1933 - 2010

Language group

Pintupi, Western Desert region


Narputta Nangala's 'Karrkuntinytja', 1999, is essentially a landscape painting of the countryside surrounding her birthplace (Karrkuntinytja). Narputta is a senior artist and custodian for her community at Ikuntji (Haasts Bluff) and one of the most prominent of the Ikuntji Women's Centre painters. Narputta is the wife of Timmy Tjungurrayi Jugadai who painted for Papunya Tula in the 1970s and 80s. Narputta began painting in her own right in 1992.

'Karrkuntinytja' depicts the hills, trees and lake that are a feature of this country - regarded as Narputta's father's country. Narputta states in the book Ikuntji Paintings from Haasts Bluff 1992-94:
"My country is Lampintja, kurrkati (goanna) tjukurrpa and my father's country is karrkuruntinytja, kuniya kutjarra (two carpet snakes, two brothers, two Tjangalas) tjukurrpa. This country also belongs to my grandparents. I was born at Karrkurutinytja, beside the lake. My father's name was Taluku Tjampitjimpa. My brothers were Tiwil Tjangala and Mulgilnga Tjangala. My grandmother's name was Mantuwa Nungarrayi and my grandfather Tiwil Tjangala."

'Karrkuntinytja' is an amazing painting that shows Narputt's unique vision of her country. There seems to be a vastness, a rich hinterland, well treed and watered. The white horizontal void dividing the painting jolts the eye back to the line of hills bordering the top and bottom of the painting. Lakes or waterholes and what could be salt pans are the dominant elements covering the field.

Narputta was the winner of the 'Open Painting' section of the 1997 Telstra National Aboriginal Art Award and is represented in the collections of the National Gallery of Victoria, the National Gallery of Australia, the Groninger Museum, The Netherlands, Supreme Court, Darwin among others.

Australian Art Department, AGNSW, 2000




Media category


Materials used

synthetic polymer paint on linen


151.5 x 284.5 cm


Mollie Gowing Acquisition Fund for Contemporary Aboriginal Art 2000

Accession number


Artist information

Narputta Nangala

Works in the collection



Where the work was made
Central and Western Desert

Shown in 1 exhibition

Exhibition history