Mary Brown Napangati: Ceremonies and Stories

23 February - 30 March 2019


A small, exclusive selection of current works by traditional western desert painter, Mary Brown Napangati. Employing traditional iconography and vibrant colour, Mary tells the stories of her youth and country whilst creating fresh, contemporary canvasses. 


Mary Brown Napangati
Born c.1953-
Language Group: Warlpiri/Pintupi
Community: Nyirripi

Mary Brown Napangati was born circa 1953 in a bush camp at a locality called Lapi Lapi on the Northern Territory/Western Australian boarder, south west of Yuendumu in Central Australia.

Mary lived a traditional lifestyle growing up and at a very young age was introduced to gathering bush tucker, bush medicine and craft and bead work used for traditional ceremonies. She was also exposed to the cultural knowledge and dreamtime stories of her country.

Mary first began painting in the early 1990's, at first sporadically as there was no art centre where she lived.
By 2005, she was painting for Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation in Yuendumu and since that time has produced bodies of work with much more frequency and to much acclaim.

The central themes of Mary's paintings include traditional women's ceremonies and Tjukurrpa stories which relate to the lands around her homeland, those of her own country. Mary utilises characteristic iconography, and employs an array of vibrant, non-traditional colour, which has eabled her to develop a fresh contemporary style and modern interpretation of Tjukurrpa. Mary is married to the celebrated Western Desert artist, Ronnie Tjampitjinpa.

Selected Exhibitions
1990 From the Centre to the Sea, Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Co-operative, Chippendale, Sydney.
2003 Brisbane, QLD
2018 20/20 Vision 20 years 20 women, Brenda Colahan Fine Art, Sydney 1-30 Nov

Select Bibliography
Johnson, V., 1994, The Dictionary of Western Desert Artists, Craftsman House,
East Roseville, New South Wales. (C)