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Susie Bootja Bootja Napaljarri

Untitled (Tjaluwon) - 1993

synthetic polymer paint on canvas
59.5 x 119.0 cm
Price Realised: $4,270.00

MP #736


Warlayirti Artists, Balgo Hills, WA Cat. No. 75/93
Gifted to the art co-ordinator Robin Beasey by the artist in February 1993
Aboriginal Gallery of Dreamings, Vic Cat. No. 12460
Hank Ebes Collection, Vic


accompanied by a certificate booklet from Aboriginal Gallery of Dreamings

Artwork Size: 59.5 x 119 cm 

Frame Size: 65.5 x 123.5 cm

Susie walked in from the desert as a teenager to Tjumundora, one of the early mission sites, and then moved to the old mission at Balgo Hills in WA in 1946. where she worked in the kitchen making bread and helping serve food to the dormitory children. There she met her first husband and had her first child, Lucy. Her husband was killed on a mustering trip due to intertribal conflict and left her a widow. Later she eloped with Mick Gill Tjakamarra, to whom she was devoted for the rest of her life, and had another six children. She had a vibrant and colourful personality and was respected for her knowledge of the law and ceremony pertaining to the fresh water spring, Kurtal. She liked to relate stories about playing at the waterhole in the northern reaches of the Canning Stock Route, where she spent her youth.


Susie was one of the first women painters at Balgo Hills. Her eldest son, Matthew Gill, started up the Art Centre in Balgo Hills in 1985 with Sister Alice Dempsey from the St John’s Adult Education Centre.

Suzie was renowned for her ability to intermix western and traditional representations of country (hills, trees, snakes) along with a lively use of colour, especially bright greens, pinks and sky blues. In 1996 she began a series of innovative dotted colour field works which became her favoured style in the years immediately preceding her death in 2003.