Linda Syddick Napaltjarri
21 November – 23 December 2014
Linda Syddick Napaltjarri collects the stories of a lifetime into a series of images that represent the major turning points in her life. One such incident is the first contact made by her small family group as they came in from the desert in 1945. Linda Syddick Napaltjarri was an eight year old child when her family ended an epic journey that had taken them from Lake Mackay in the Gibson Desert, east to the small settlement at Mt Liebig.
Linda’s story is one of first contact, when a traditional medicine man who followed with their party first encountered a windmill at Mt Liebig. While Linda’s adoptive father, Shorty Lankata Tjungurrayi, had contact with white settlers before, most of the party had not.
Linda Syddick Napaltjarri recounts how the witchdoctor drew on bush magic to quell the fierce windmill that he saw in the early morning. Looking more like a demonic spirit, the windmill proved to be immune the old witchdoctor’s magic. It was Linda’s father who finally was able to persuade the old man that the machine was not an evil spirit.
This and other stories of desert survival are direct from the voice of someone who was there at those first encounters. Linda Syddick Napaltjarri draws on metaphysical stories she later learned in the mission settlements and fused them with her memories of the desert and Tingari Creation events. The resultant paintings are full with the potent spiritual power that link to the great events of life.
The exhibition of Linda Syddick Napaltjarri’s paintings runs from 21 November to 23 December 2014.