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April Spencer Napaltjarri

Yarrenyty Arltere Artists & Tangentyere Artists

April Spencer Napaltjarri was born in Yuendumu, NT in 1966 and currently lives in Mparntwe (Alice Springs). She began painting in the late 1980’s and since joining Tangentyere Artists in 2017 has frequented the art centre daily, establishing herself as one of the centre’s most enthusiastic artists. Spencer paints in the signature Walpiri style and most often paints Wardapi Tjukurrpa (Goanna Dreaming), telling the story of women hunting sand goanna in the dunes of Yarripilangku, SW of Yuendumu. She paints this story by featuring bold concentric circles and intersecting lines contrasted onto a backdrop of fields of dotting.

Spencer’s practice is interwoven with those of her family members, having first learned to paint by watching her brother and father draw circles and dotting in the sand as a child. In time Spencer began watching her brother, renowned painter Andrew Spencer Japaltjarri paint large scale canvases and listened closely to his message ‘when I’m gone sister you’ve got to take over the traditional ways of painting, how I’m doing it like this’. Spencer then painted closely alongside both of her sisters Isobelle and Winkie at Tangentyere Artists until the latter sadly passed away at the end of 2020.
Spencer’s artistic career has spanned over three decades, formally painting with IAD’s Jukurrpa Collective, and her works are exhibited widely across Australia.