Esther Giles Nampitjinpa was born circa 1948 in Yumara, north of Docker River, Western Australia.
Esther grew up in the desert living a nomadic lifestyle with her tribe. After the death of her younger brother, her family moved to the then newly established government settlement of Papunya. Like her sister Tjawina Porter Nampitjinpa, Esther was known for her skill as a traditional basket weaver before becoming recognised for her exceptional painting skills.
Esther has since returned to live in her country with family members. Her artworks represent the traditional homelands associated with her tribe's ancestral heritage, depicting sand dunes known as tali and rock escarpments known as puli, as well as waterholes and food sources. Through her painting, Esther describes the physical markings that the ancient ancestors provided to give evidence of their activities during the time of creation.
The concentric circles often depicted in Esther's paintings are a series of waterholes located near her homeland. The lines connecting each of the symbols refer to ancestral pathways that were established during Tjukurrpa. Her designs are often used in body art during traditional corroborees. Body painting is an important part of ceremonial practice and bears direct relationship to these pathways or 'song-lines'.
In the years that Esther has been painting she has gained worldwide recognition, participating in many national and international solo and group exhibitions. Her works are represented in private and public collections in Australia, Europe and the USA.