Gracie Ward Napaltjarri

Gracie Ward Napaltjarri, b 1973, taught by her father George Ward Tjungurrayi – uses strong colours of desert intensity in her art

Gracie Ward Napaltjarri was born at Papunya in 1973 and her parents George Ward Tjungurrayi and Nyungawarra Ward Napurrula were about to become part of the emerging Papunya Tula Western Desert art movement. The family later moved to Docker River and then to Warakurna in Western Australia.

Gracie was taught painting by her famous father George Ward in 2004 and she adopted the Pintupi style of dot painting employing subtle earth tones against a black design. The desert iconography provided the narrative elements for the artist to depict the homelands of her family and the landscape and Tingari Dreaming stories associated with that Country. Gracie assisted her parents in producing their artworks and then after a few more years began making her own paintings.

By 2009 Gracie Ward began using the heightened colour and contrasting tones that had started to dominate in the APY Lands art movement and had influenced communities into Western Australia and the Western Desert. Gracie employs the hot desert colours to create light and energy into her vast landscapes and to emphasise the landscape features and Tingari Dreaming tracks. Occasional lines of deep greens and blues provides an eye-catching contrast to the deep orange tones of the land.

Gracie Ward has worked consistently throughout the past decade and travels between Warakurna and Alice Springs to maintain her work practice. Gracie has exhibited in major Australian cities and has been exhibited internationally as well as shortlisted in major national art prizes.