Alice Nampitjinpa Dixon
Language: Pintupi / Luritja
Country: Haasts Bluff
Alice, a Pintupi woman, was born on 31 December 1942 near Talaalpi, a swamp east of Walungurru on the Western Australian / Northern Territory border. Her father was the great artist and founding Papunya Tula Artists member, Uta Uta Tjangala.
Prior to painting, Alice taught the girls at Kintore School ceremonial dancing and cultural traditions of the Pintupi people.
Alice began painting with her involvement in a collaborative canvas project, ‘Minyama Tjukurrpa’, between Haasts Bluff and Kintore.
Alice’s Tjukurrpa (Dreaming) is Tjilkamala (porcupine) around her father’s country, Ngurrapalangu of the porcupine darting around rock holes seeking food while women are waiting to hunt them. It also includes the porcupine travelling through sand hills near two carpet snakes (kuniya Kutjarra) living beneath the water.
Uta Uta Tjangala’s Tjukurrpa is Pungkalungka at Takpalangu. Pungkalungka, which live in large caves in the hills, are dangerous and can kill and eat people.
Alice only painted the entrance to the caves to indicate the unseen danger of the monster inside. She often painted in bright colours using the orange, yellow and white colours of ochre which is used for ceremonial body paint.
Alice was a keen hunter for ‘bush tucker’ and travelled extensively around the Western Desert for ‘Women’s Law Meetings and ceremonies. She also hand-spindled hairstring for ceremonies and made necklaces, mats and bracelets from Ininti seeds (which are in shades of red, yellow and orange from the Bean Tree).
Alice died in 2020.
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Supreme Court, Darwin
Araluen Cultural Centre, Alice Springs