top of page

Linda Syddick Napaltjarri

DOB: c. 1937

BORN: Wilkingkarra (Lake Mackay), Western Australia
LANGUAGE GROUP: Pintupi and Pitjantjatjara
COUNTRY: Haasts Bluff, Northern Territory

Linda Yunkata Syddick Napaltjarri (c. 1937–2021) was a Pintupi- and Pitjantjatjara- speaking Indigenous artist from the Western Desert region. Her father was killed when she was young, and her mother later married Shorty Lungkarta Tjungarrayi, an artist whose work was a significant influence on Linda’s painting.


Linda was one of many Western Desert women who took up painting in the early 1990s, as part of a broader contemporary Australian Aboriginal Art Movement. She began painting some time prior to 1991, when her work was first exhibited in Alice Springs. Her work includes a distinctive fusion of Christian and Aboriginal traditional themes and motifs. She has been a finalist in the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards (NATSIA) on at least four occasions, and in the Blake Prize (a religious art competition) at least three times. Her works are held by numerous galleries including the National Gallery of Australia, the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the Art Gallery of South Australia. Linda was the subject of a portrait painted by Robert Hannaford, which was a finalist in the 1992 Archibald Prize.


Linda was painting by 1991, when her works were hung in a private gallery – Gallery Gondwana – in Alice Springs. Her works, such as A nest of crosses, gladly borne painted for an exhibition titled ‘Mary Mackillop: a tribute’, combine traditional Indigenous painting techniques and motifs with Christian imagery and themes. Linda had two paintings included in an exhibition, ‘From Appreciation to Appropriation’, at the Flinders University Art Museum City Gallery in 2000. One – Eucharist – again looked at Christian influences in Indigenous culture, while the other dealt with Hollywood influences, and was titled ET: The Bicycle Ride.


Linda’s works also represent her traditional Country, such as her painting Tingari Men at Wilkingkarra (Lake Mackay), which was a NATSIA finalist in 2009. Artists of the Western Desert region frequently portray figures from the Tingari Cycle of 'songlines', particularly the Tingari Men. These are ancestral elders who − in the Dreaming − travelled over vast areas, performing rituals and creating the Country.


Title: Windmill

Artist: Linda Syddick Napaltjarri

Acrylic on linen

Painted: 2007

Size: 180cm x 128cm approximately

Catalogue number: AMAG/LSN1443/07

Price: POA

Provenance: Aboriginal and Modern Art Gallery of Australia (AMAGOA) > Private Collection

Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Please refer to our FAQs for more information about purchasing with confidence from The Indigenous Art Book.

bottom of page