Yalti Napangati was born at Marruparingya north of Kiwirrkura, circa 1969. She is a member of the famous ‘Pintupi Nine’ – a small group of Pintupi living in the remote Western Desert who did not encounter Europeans until a chance meeting at Winparrku (Mt Webb) in 1984. Yalti’s sister Yukultji Napangati, and husband Warlimpirrgna Tjapaltjarri – both world-renowned artists – were also members of this group. Yalti now lives in Kiwirrkura with her husband and children.
Yalti began painting for Papunya Tula Artists in 1996. Her paintings depict her Country encompassing Marrapinti, Ngaminya, Wirrulnga and the sandhills surrounding Walpurru. In addition to her career as an artist, Yalti is known for her wicked sense of humour and exceptional prowess at hunting ‘pussy cat’ (feral cats).
Yalti has exhibited widely, contributing to numerous group exhibitions both in Australia and internationally. In 2020, Yalti had her first solo exhibition at Papunya Tula Artists in Alice Springs.
Yalti Napangati’s untitled work refers to the site Marrapinti, a rockhole and soakage water site, west of Kiwirrkura in Western Australia. During ancestral times, a large group of women gathered at this site on their travels to the east. The women stopped at Marrapinti to make nose bones, also known as marrapinti, which are worn through a hole in the septum. These ornamental nose bones were originally worn by men and women but are now only inserted by the older generations during ceremonial occasions. At the conclusion of the ceremony at Marrapinti, the women continued their travels east to Ngaminya and then on to Wilkinkarra (Lake McKay).
The symbols in this painting represent the geographical features of the landscape traversed by the ancestral women along their journey, and the bush foods they harvested along the way. Yalti is known for her classical colour palette and complex symbolism that combine to great effect, creating works with a compelling visual narrative.