Artist | MARTHA MCDONALD NAPALTJARRI

Artist | MARTHA MCDONALD NAPALTJARRI


Australian Indigenous (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) artwork by MARTHA MCDONALD NAPALTJARRI of Papunya Tjupi Artists. The title is Warlukuritji. [461-16] (Acrylic on Linen)

MARTHA MCDONALD NAPALTJARRI

Warlukuritji

Born at Haasts Bluff circa 1940, Martha McDonald Napaltjarri (also known by her 'bush name' of Tjulata) is the daughter of founding Papunya Tula artist Shorty Lungkata Tjungurrayi (c. 1920 – 1987) and his first wife. Shorty also married Martha's mother's sister Napulu Nangala after the death of her first husband and raised her six children as his own.

Martha never attended school, except as a 'house girl' or cleaner for the upstairs part of the school. She had worked with linguist John Heffernan in the Papunya Literature production and Adult Education program and in the Papunya pre-school alongside her sister Linda Tjunkaya Syddick Napaltjarri. Martha is very proud of her language and is a skilled teacher, always offering to teach language to visitors and staff at the art centre.

Martha did not paint much until 2008, only watching her father paint, since "in those days only men, no kungka [women]" painted. When she began painting for Papunya Tjupi, she rapidly emerged as a talented and meticulous painter. She is inspired by her father’s painting and memories of visiting her father’s country Warlukuritji and the stories she knows about it. Martha also enjoys making baskets and necklaces.

She married Snowy McDonald, with whom she lived in Papunya until his death in 2013. Today, she resides in the tranquil surroundings of Blackwater outstation near Papunya at the base of the Ulumpbaru mountain range with her extended family, but continues to travel to the art centre daily to paint. She is also an important elder in the Papunya community and a Director of Papunya Tjupi Arts. Her enthusiasm and aliveness is quite tangible, and it is apparent in the vibrancy of what she shares through her art works.



Born at Haasts Bluff circa 1940, Martha McDonald Napaltjarri (also known by her 'bush name' of Tjulata) is the daughter of founding Papunya Tula artist Shorty Lungkata Tjungurrayi (c. 1920 – 1987) and his first wife. Shorty also married Martha's mother's sister Napulu Nangala after the death of her first husband and raised her six children as his own.

Martha never attended school, except as a 'house girl' or cleaner for the upstairs part of the school. She had worked with linguist John Heffernan in the Papunya Literature production and Adult Education program and in the Papunya pre-school alongside her sister Linda Tjunkaya Syddick Napaltjarri. Martha is very proud of her language and is a skilled teacher, always offering to teach language to visitors and staff at the art centre.

Martha did not paint much until 2008, only watching her father paint, since "in those days only men, no kungka [women]" painted. When she began painting for Papunya Tjupi, she rapidly emerged as a talented and meticulous painter. She is inspired by her father’s painting and memories of visiting her father’s country Warlukuritji and the stories she knows about it. Martha also enjoys making baskets and necklaces.

She married Snowy McDonald, with whom she lived in Papunya until his death in 2013. Today, she resides in the tranquil surroundings of Blackwater outstation near Papunya at the base of the Ulumpbaru mountain range with her extended family, but continues to travel to the art centre daily to paint. She is also an important elder in the Papunya community and a Director of Papunya Tjupi Arts. Her enthusiasm and aliveness is quite tangible, and it is apparent in the vibrancy of what she shares through her art works.



Exhibitions that MARTHA MCDONALD NAPALTJARRI has exhibited at

Nampatjunanyi (Paint and Draw)

A Collection of Papunya Tjupi Indigenous Art