Susie Bootja Bootja Napaltjarri
Susie Bootja Bootja Napaltjarri was a vibrant and colourful personality, respected for her knowledge of the law and ceremony of Kurtal (fresh water spring in WA). Susie spent her youth at Kangingarra (northern reaches of the Canning Stock Route) and as a teenager walked from the desert to Tjumundora, one of the early mission sites. She then moved to the old mission at Balgo where she worked in the kitchen. It was at Balgo where she met her first husband and had her first child, Lucy. Shortly after, her husband was killed on a mustering trip during inter-tribal conflict. Susie later met Mick Gill who she eloped with. They remained a devoted couple and had six children.
Susie was one of the first women painters, well known for her dualism of western and traditional representations of country (hills, trees, snakes) and for her lively colours. She began painting innovative dotted colour fields in 1996 and continued to develop her style each year. Her paintings reflect her exuberance and joy. Susie travelled nationally with her art and she prided herself on her ability to sing both in English and Kukatja, and perform ceromonial dance.
Sadly, Susie passed away in 2003.
Courtesy of Warlayirti Artists