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Naata Nungurrayi / Marrapinti (5A)

181cm x 244cm Acrylic on Linen, 2012

SKU: NA201217


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Source Gallery: Yanda Aboriginal Art, Alice Springs, NT

30+ Working photos accompany this painting

Naata Nungurrayi was born c. 1932 in the vicinity of Kumil, to the west of the Pollock Hills in Western Australia.  She is a Pintupi speaker and a highly regarded cultural Law Woman.  Unfortunately she is now unable to paint due to ill health.

Naata is firmly established as one of Australia’s leading artists. A work measuring 150cm x 180cm achieved a record price of $216,000 in Sotheby’s Auction 2007 and was followed up in 2015 by a stunning piece of the same size reaching the top price – again, $216,000, at the prestigious Laverty Collection Auction. 

She participated in the Kintore-Haasts Bluff collaborative canvas project in 1994 and commenced painting for Papunya Tula Artists in 1996. Naata currently lives in Walungurru with her sister Nancy Nungurrayi who is also a highly sought after artist.  Her brother is George Tjungurrayi and her son is Kenny Williams Tjampitjinpa, both international artists.

Naata is famous for her bold linear style, the dense use of painting medium and the radiant and richly textured surfaces of her work.  The Dreamings that Naata paints are traditional designs associated in the main with the Tingari themes, depicting sacred women’s ceremonial sites, the performance of their dancing and the designs painted on the upper part of their bodies for Women’s Business (Law).

It is understood that the Tingari are a group of mythical characters of her people’s Dreamtime who travelled over vast stretches of the country, performing rituals and creating particular important sites.  The Tingari women usually followed the Tingari men, accompanied by novices.  It is the Tingari men and women’s travels and mystical deeds that are enshrined in a number of song, dance and story cycles.  Naata is one of the few women having sufficient tribal hierarchy and family lineage to inherit and have permission to paint aspects of this important story. Tingari is normally painted by men.

Naata’s artworks have been accepted in the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Telstra Awards every year since first being entered in 2000 – an incredible recognition of the standing of this artist. She was also named among the Top 50 of Australia’s Most Collectable Artists in Australian Art Collector January – March, 2004.  In 2003, one of Naata’s paintings appeared on an Australia Post stamp special edition titled Art of Papunya Tula.

Naata is represented in major public and private collections throughout Australia and overseas.

Selected Exhibitions

– The Desert Mob Art Show, Araluen Art Centre, Alice Springs, NT
– Chapman Gallery, Manuka. Canberra, ACT

– Utopia Art, Sydney, NSW
– Flinders University of South Australia, Bedford Park, SA
– Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne, Victoria
– Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, ‘New Horizons 2000’, Melbourne, Victoria

– ‘Lines’, Fireworks Gallery, Brisbane, Queensland
– ‘Aboriginal Art 2000’ Scott Livesey Art Gallery, Armadale, Victoria
– Papunya Tula ‘Genesis and Genius’, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
– Framed Gallery, Darwin, NT
– Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne, Victoria
– ‘Pintupi Women’, Papunya Tula Artists, Alice Springs, NT

– Palm Beach Art Fair, Palm Beach, Florida, USA
– Art House Gallery, Sydney, NSW
– ‘Art of the Pintupi’. Tony Bond Aboriginal Art Dealer, Adelaide, SA
– ‘Aboriginal Art 2001, Scott Livesey Art Dealer, Melbourne, Victoria
– ‘Papunya Tula 30th Anniversary Exhibition’, Chapman Gallery, Canberra, ACT
– Indigenart, Subiaco, WA
– ‘Pintupi Exhibition’, Papunya Tula Artists, Alice Springs, NT
– ‘Kintore and Kiwirrkura’, Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne, Victoria
– ‘Museum’, Utopia Art, Sydney, NSW
– ‘Spirituality and Australian Aboriginal Art’, Comunlidad de Madrid Touring Exhibition, Spain

– ‘Next Generation – Aboriginal Art 2002’ Art House Gallery, Sydney, NSW
– ‘Paintings From Our Country’, Tony Bond Aboriginal Art Dealer, Adelaide, SA
– ‘Pintupi Mens’ and Womens’ Stories’, Indigenart, Subiaco, WA
– ‘Art Born Of The Western Desert’, Framed Gallery, Darwin, NT
– ‘Saluting Papunya’, Chapman Gallery, Canberra, ACT
– ‘Pintupi Artists’, Papunya Tula Artists, Alice Springs, NT

– ‘Pintupi Art 2003’, Tony Bond Aboriginal Art Dealer, Adelaide, SA

– ‘Naata Nungurrayi’, Yanda Aboriginal Art, Melbourne, VIC

Selected Collections
– Art Gallery of New South Wales
– National Gallery of Victoria
– Museums & Art Galleries of the Northern Territory
– Australian Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
– Artbank
– Morven Estate
– The Holmes a Court Collection
– Helen Read Collection
– Harland Collection
– The Laverty Collection

This painting depicts the creation events at the rockhole site of Manapinti, west of Kiwirrkura. A group of senior women camped at this site where they gathered kampurarrpa –
bush raisin. The dried fruit is ground to make a damper, or seed cake.

The repetition of the roundel design is a reinforcement of the importance of these locations. The arched design at the exterior of the painting depict the rocky outcrops associated with ancestral activities.

During ceremony the women will “act out” the activities of ancestral beings and the song lines are performed in a repetitive manner. The rock hole sites have been a reliable source of drinking water and as such remain as important ceremony sites to celebrate the activities of ancestral beings.

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