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BAMBATU CAMPBELL NAPANGATI

Date of Birth : c.1950
Country : Kiwikurra (Western Desert)
Language : Pintupi

was born in Winron, Pintupi country, across the Western Australian border, east of Kiwirrkura.

BAMBATU LIVED APART FROM WHITE PEOPLE WITH HER FAMILY IN THE BUSH UNTIL HER TEENS, LIVING A TRADITIONAL LIFE WITH HER FAMILY, HUNTING AND LIVING OFF THE LAND, AS THE ABORIGINAL PEOPLE DID FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS BEFORE HER. IN THE 1960’S SHE AND HER FAMILY MOVED TO THE SETTLEMENT OF PAPUNYA.

While visiting relatives in Balgo she met Dini Campbell Tjampitjinpa, they later married. Dini Campbell’s older brother, Anatjari Tjampitjinpa, was one of the original Aboriginal artists painting in Papunya.

Dini Tjampitjinpa and Bambatu Napangardi have four sons and two daughters. Sadly Dini Campbell passed away in Alice Springs Hospital in 2000.

Bambatu Napangardi was taught to paint by her husband, and now she paints her own Dreamtime stories passed on to her by her both her parents as well as her husband, Dini Campbell Tjampitjinpa.

Her paintings are of Aboriginal women’s ceremonies and her works depict the traditional symbols of the central desert. Her linear works are bold and strong which reflect the techniques taught to her by Dini Campbell, typical of artists from Kintore and Papuyna

Bambatu depicts in her work the ceremonial journeys of the ancestral women. Her “Kungka Tjukurrpa” paintings show the journey travelled from Wirrulunga, east of Kirwirrkurra, from Kintore to Mount Leibig and the Papunya regions. At each location, the women would stop, dance and sing the cycle of each sacred site. In Bambatu’s paintings, the concentric circles represent waterholes, and the parallel dotted lines represent the path traveled.

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