Marissa Napanangka Anderson was born in Katherine, NT in 1992. Katherine is a town located 320 kms southeast of Darwin and situated on the Katherine River. She grew up and attended school in Lajamanu, an Aboriginal community in semi-arid country on the edge of the Tanami Desert, halfway between Darwin and Alice Springs. Her parents died when she was young. When she married, she moved to Yuendumu with her husband to raise her two boys who are now seven (born in 2009) and four (born in 2012) and attending Yuendamu School.
Marissa began painting in 2011 with Warlukurlangu Aboriginal Corporation, an Aboriginal owned and governed art centre located in Yuendumu, a remote Aboriginal community 290 km from Alice Springs. Warlukurlangu Artists provide an outlet for Warlpiri artists to paint their cultural heritage and earn income from their work. She also helps out at the Art Centre, assisting in the preparation of art canvasses.
Painting patterns is something Marissa loves doing and she paints her Mother’s Ngapa Jukurrpa (Water Dreaming), stories which relate directly to her land, its features and the plants and animals that inhabit it. She began using traditional iconography but because of her love for pattern and colour she has developed an individualist style using pattern and design in a variety of contexts to depict her traditional jukurrpa.