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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Makinti Napanangka, Kintore, 2001

Hari Ho

type C photograph on paper (sheet: 101.5 cm x 76.0 cm, image: 73.6 cm x 58.3 cm, frame: 113.5 cm x 103.5 cm depth 4.2 cm)

Makinti Napanangka (c. 1930-2011), painter, was a leading artist of the Western Desert. A Pintupi language speaker, she was born in the Karrkurritinytja (Lake MacDonald) region on the border of the Northern Territory and Western Australia. She and her family walked in to Haasts Bluff in the early 1940s, before the Papunya Tula artists’ cooperative was established. She began painting at Kintore in the mid-1990s, encouraged by art coordinator Marina Strocchi. By 1996, when canvas was regularly distributed to senior women at Pintupi, she was painting in earnest. Her style settled into complex, sometimes rough patterns of pale lines - evoking the Lupul rockhole, women’s body paint, spun hair string skirts and groups dancing - on orange or ochre with bursts of pink, blue-mauve and yellow. The Art Gallery of New South Wales and the National Gallery of Victoria both acquired their first paintings by Makinti in 1997; in 2000 she was represented in the major exhibition Papunya Tula: Genesis and Genius. In 2008, she won the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award. Her works are now held by all major Australian collecting institutions.

Hari Ho commented that his almost entirely non-verbal communication with Makinti helped achieve the ‘transparency’ that he aims for in a portrait. Ideally, for Ho, the subject is allowed to project their sense of self-awareness and individual living consciousness without the artist’s ‘imposition of any superfluous “creativity”’.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased with funds from the Basil Bressler Bequest 2004

Accession number: 2004.7

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Hari Ho (age 53 in 2001)

Makinti Napanangka (age 71 in 2001)

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

Related portraits

1. Dadang Christanto, 2005. All Hari Ho.

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

Café and shop

On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

Dadang Christanto video: 5 minutes 6 seconds
Dadang Christanto video: 5 minutes 6 seconds
Dadang Christanto video: 5 minutes 6 seconds
Dadang Christanto video: 5 minutes 6 seconds

Dadang Christanto

'Buried in the beach'

Portrait story

Artist Dadang Christanto discusses his portrait taken by Hari Ho and how it relates to Dadang's sculpture 'Heads from the North'

Makinti Napanangka, Kintore, 2001 Hari Ho
Makinti Napanangka, Kintore, 2001 Hari Ho
Makinti Napanangka, Kintore, 2001 Hari Ho
Makinti Napanangka, Kintore, 2001 Hari Ho

Encounter at Kintore

Magazine article by Hari Ho, 2004

Photographer Hari Ho describes the creation of his portrait of Papunya Tula artist Makinti Napanangka.

Bryan Brown, 2008 Adam Knott
Bryan Brown, 2008 Adam Knott
Bryan Brown, 2008 Adam Knott
Bryan Brown, 2008 Adam Knott

The Look

Previous exhibition, 2019

Featuring striking photographic portraits of contemporary figures from the National Portrait Gallery collection, The Look is an aesthetic treat with a lashing of je ne sais quoi.

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.