Feature Artist: Linda Syddick

Posted in Art Gallery, News, Paintings

Feature Artist: Linda Syddick

Linda Yunkata Syddick Napaltjarri (born c. 1937) is a Pintupi– and Pitjantjatjara– speaking Indigenous artist from Australia’s Western Desert region. Her father was killed by a revenge spearing party in accordance with customary Law when Linda was about eighteen months old; her mother later married Shorty Lungkarta Tjungarrayi, an artist whose work was a significant influence on Linda’s painting.

Linda Syddick – Rockhole

Until the age of nine, Linda was raised in the traditional nomadic fashion, after which her family walked out of the desert to settle at the Lutheran Mission at Haasts Bluff in the Northern Territory. She was one of many Western Desert women who took up painting in the early 1990s, as part of a broader contemporary Indigenous Australian art movement.

Linda Syddick – Emu Men


Linda’s paintings are inspired by both her traditional nomadic life in the desert, and the Dreamings of her father and step-father. She¬†often paints the Dreaming story of the Tingari and the Emu Men. The Emu Men were ancestral beings who roamed the landscape during the Dreamtime or Creation Period. The Emu was the totem of her father, and stepfather. The Tingari were ancestral spirit beings, who went on very long journeys, creating much of the desert landscape in Central Australia, and instructing the people about law and custom. One style in particular that Linda is known for is the windmill, which her family came upon at the time they walked out of the desert, and believed was some kind of monster.

Linda Syddick – Windmill

Linda has been a finalist in the National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Awards on at least four occasions, and in the Blake Prize (a religious art competition) at least three times. Her works are held by numerous galleries including the National Gallery of Australia, the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the Art Gallery of South Australia.