Kirsty Anne Napanangka Martin-Brown was born in Alice Springs Hospital, the closest hospital to Nyirripi, a remote Aboriginal community 450 km north-west of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory of Australia. She is the daughter of Agnes Nampijinpa Brown and the grand-daughter of Molly Napurrurla Martin, both artists working with the Warlukurlangu Art Centre. She has one brother and one sister. Kirsty attended school in Nyirripi and in Yuendumu, a remote Aboriginal community 150 km south-east of Nyirripi, before going to Kormilda College, an Aboriginal boarding college in Darwin. When she finished school she returned to Nyirripi where she first worked at the Nyirripi store and then at the Childcare Centre. She has two children.
Kirsty has been painting with Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation, an Aboriginal owned and governed art centre located in Yuendumu, since 2005. Warlukurlangu Artists provides an outlet for Warlpiri artists to paint their cultural heritage and earn income from their work. This service is extended to Nyirripi artists, on a weekly basis, by delivering canvas and paint to artists and picking up finished artwork. Kirsty paints her Mina Mina Jukurrpa, Dreaming passed down on her father’s side. These stories, which relate directly to her land, its features and the fauna and flora that inhabit it, have been passed down for millennia. “I learnt about my culture…I know my dreaming. I feel proud and closer to my culture when I paint my country.” Kirsty uses traditional iconography with an unrestricted palette to develop a modern interpretation of her traditional culture.
When she’s not painting or working she likes to play softball or basketball as well as going hunting with friends.