Maisie Campbell Napaltjarri was born in 1958 near Haasts Bluff, about 300km NW of Alice Springs. The area is home to the Luritja people, who have many Western Arrente and Pintupi family connections. Maisie’s language group is Pintupi.
Maisie spent her formative years at Papunya attending school there. Her first teacher was Geoffrey Bardon, a fact that she remains proud of today. As a young woman, Maisie moved to the Pintupi community of Kintore, about 500km west of Alice Springs, where she married Barney Campbell Tjakamarra (now deceased) and to whom she had four children.
Maisie began painting in the early 1990s. Her dreamings, or Tjukurrpa, depict the sites associated with women’s ceremonies referred to as minyma inmaku. Many of the sacred rock holes in the Kintore region remain as important ceremony sites for the Pintupi people. Her ability to produce traditional designs associated with creation stories demonstrates her commitment to preserving these important elements of aboriginal culture.
She worries that her children, at this stage are showing limited interest in her painting. She sees the recording of traditional sites and ceremonies on canvas as an important part of both sustaining and fostering the great traditions of her culture.