Maisie Campbell Napaltjarri was was born in 1958 near Haasts Bluff, about 300 km NW of Alice Springs. The area is home to the Luritja people and 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 about 15 years ago. Whilst clearly influenced by her husband and the dotting style adopted by many Pintupi artists, she has developed her own form of expression which is characterised by a free flowing depiction of her stories and a rapid fire approach to dotting. Maisie is imaginative in her use of colours, showing a propensity to experiment in order to achieve the effects she is seeking, yet preserving the inherent cultural integrity of her works.
Maisie paints the Tjukurrpa, or Dreamings, that have been handed down in her family line for countless generations. The Tjukurrpa depict the sites associated with women’s ceremonies referred to as Minyma Inmaku. These sites are located in the area between Kintore and Kiwirrkurra in Western Australia, and Maisie paints them in aerial perspective, showing the elements of the country that are sacred for her people.
Many of the sacred rockholes in the Kintore region are maintained as important ceremonial sites by Pintupi people. Kapi is the Pintupi word used to refer to water, and the location of these sites is critical to both the physical and spiritual survival of the Western Desert people.