Barbara Napangarti Reid
Barbara Napangarti Reid’s paintings are beautiful depictions of place, paintings of the lands to which she is custodian and the songs that explain them. Characteristic for Barbara is the depiction of puli – rock formations, and tuli – sand hills…
Region: Western Desert
DOB: c 1964
Place of Birth: Mungurry, WA
Significant Country: Gibson Desert
Barbara Napangarti Reid was born in approximately 1964 at Mungurry, near Tjukurla, north west of Docker River in Western Australia. She belongs to the Ngaanyatjarra language group of the Western Desert, one of eight language groups who act as custodians for this vast area. While Barbara’s family are predominantly Ngaanyatjarra, she has, from her father’s mother’s side, a strong Pintupi connection, with the noted artist Kai Kai Nampintjinpa being her father’s mother’s young sister.
As a very small child Barbara and her mother, accompanied by her father and his other wife, left Mungurry on foot to journey through Tjukurla on to Lupul and then on to see Uluru. It was a long, long journey and Barbara was still in arms so, somewhere south east of Docker River, her father flagged down a passing army truck who, operating under the “round-up” policies of the Federal Government of the time, took the family on to the settlement at Papunya. There the family were “settled” until Barbara was approximately sixteen, at which time she left Papunya and came into Alice Springs.
In 1987 she began painting with the Centre for Aboriginal Artists. She then moved to Adelaide where she met her partner Robert and had her first child, Suzie. Barbara and family have now moved back to Alice Springs where she paints in the studio of Gallery Gondwana.
Barbara Napangarti Reid’s paintings are beautiful depictions of place, paintings of the lands to which she is custodian and the songs that explain them. Characteristic for Barbara is the depiction of puli – rock formations, and tuli – sand hills, those features that are so much a part of the land from which she comes. Also vital to Barbara’s work is the telling of women’s sacred stories – minyma – narratives that revolve around the role of the woman as healer and provider within Ngaanyatjarra society. With their beautiful lyricism and exquisite tonal palette Barbara Napangarti Reid’s paintings work to capture the viewer, mesmerising with their quiet intensity and irrepressible joy.
Barbara Reid has been represented in exhibitions and collections around Australia and overseas, including:
- Gallery Gondwana, Alice Springs, NT, Australia
- Vivien Anderson Gallery, Melbourne, VIC, Australi
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