Esther Giles Nampitjinpa was born circa 1948 at Yumara, in Western Australia. She grew up living the nomadic lifestyle with her tribe in the desert. Her first lesson in life on the frontier between two cultures was a violent one. As a young girl, her warrior father was shot by a white man in an unprovoked attack, and his body was strung up in a tree. This event exemplefies the hardships she encountered from a young age and that are embodied in her art.
A few years after her father’s death, her family group moved to the then newly established government settlement of Papunya. Esther has since returned to live in her native country with family members. She was known for her skills as a traditional basket weaver before becoming recognised for her exceptional painting skills.
Esther’s artworks represent the traditional homelands associated with her tribe's ancestral heritage. Her works are detailed in symbolism. The iconography depicts sand dunes known as "tali" and rock escarpments known as "puli", as well as waterholes and food sources. Her designs are often used in body art during traditional corroborees. Her paintings depict the physical markings that ancient ancestors have provided to give evidence of their activities during the time of creation.
Born in Yumara, Western Australia in 1948