Bai Bai Napangarti is a senior law woman and Aboriginal artist from Balgo Hills. Her country extends from Mangkayi in the Stansmore Ranges to just south of Yagga Yagga. Bai Bai has travelled extensively for cultural reasons, and in 1989 she danced at the Shinju Matsuri Festival in Perth. She spent her youth and early adult years travelling through her family’s land learning traditional law and culture.
She began to paint in 1986 in Balgo, and since then has introduced younger members of her family to painting. She has been involved in several publications including Yarrtji: Six women’s stories from the Great Sandy Desert, 1997, Aboriginal Studies Press, Canberra, which was shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s History Awards in 1998. Bai Bai is a long serving member of the Kimberley Land Council and a strong practitioner of women’s law and culture in Balgo. Bai Bai was married to artist Sunfly Tjampitjin (now deceased).
Subject & Themes
Hair belt spinning story, echidna, crow, kangaroo, dingo, native cat and bush carrot Waterholes and claypans.
National Gallery of Australia
Helen Read Collection
Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth
Berndt Museum of Anthropology, University of Western Australia
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
The Holmes a Court Collection, Perth
Kluge-Ruhe Collection, USA
Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory
Kelton Collection , USA
Ken Thompson and Pierre Marecaux Collection
1986, Art from the Great Sandy Desert, Art Gallery of WA, Perth.
1988, Art from Balgo Hills, Birukmarri Gallery, Fremantle, WA.
1989, Recent Paintings from Balgo, Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne, Vic.
1989, Balgo Painting, Dreamtime Gallery, Perth, WA; 1989, Balgo Paintings, Robert Steele Gallery, Adelaide, SA.
1990, Recent Balgo Paintings, Dreamtime Gallery, Perth, WA.
1991, Aboriginal Art and Spirituality, High Court, Canberra; 1991, Yapa, Peintres Aborigenes de Balgo et Lajamanu, Baudon Lebon Gallery, Paris.
1993, Images of Power, Aboriginal Art of the Kimberley, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
1994, Johnson, V., The Dictionary of Western Desert Artists, Craftsman House, East Roseville, NSW.
1994, Dream Journeys Calendar, image reproduction.
1991, Crumlin, R., (ed.), Aboriginal Art and Spirituality, Collins Dove, North Blackburn, Vic.
1991, Glowczewski, B., Yapa Peintres Aborigenes de Balgo et Lajamanu, Lebon Gallery, Paris, France.
1989, Stanton, J., Painting the Country: Contemporary Aboriginal Art from the Kimberley Region, WA, University of Western Australia Press, Perth.