Dot work in this painting represents anwekety (conkerberries), it's Dreaming story belonging to Polly's country, Ahalpere.
The conkerberry is a sweet black berry that only grow on the plant for a few weeks of the year. Growing up, Polly’s people would collect plenty of them and store them dry, reconstituting them in water before being consumed. The resultant solution can be used as a medicinal wash that is particularly favoured for skin and eye conditions.
Polly Ngale, who is over 80 years of age, is one of our beloved artists in Australia. An Anmatyerre woman from Ahalpere country, she speaks little English and lives in the remote eastern desert region of Utopia. Her best works, like this piece, exude a warmth generated by a rich palette of earthy colours and hundreds (if not thousands) of dots that rain down across the canvas. They are borne from traditional knowledge of the conkerberry, of spiritual ties and ceremonial connection.
Name: Polly Ngale
Skin name: Ngale
Language group: Anmatyerre
Area: Utopia Region, Central Australia
Born: c. 1936
"Introducing Polly Ngale. One of Utopia's most accomplished artists."
Polly Ngale list of exhibitions
Polly Ngale is considered one of the most accomplished painters to have come from Utopia and this painting is an exceptional measure of her best work.
The rich autumnal colours bring a beautiful intensity that is aesthetically harmonious with the abundance of creamy white and ash pink - a dusty pink that is perfectly tuned to lighten warm, earthy colours. Together they provoke an arcane sense of rhythm and adventure; as if we're watching the land change at sundown, where the deep, rich desert colours intermingle and play with the shadows.
The uneven distribution of dots, representing a flourishing desert floor of conkerberries, is also part of this work's incredible charm. They lead your eye through the piece creating a beautiful asymmetrical balance.
This painting also comes with an impressive collection of work in progress shots and the artist's brushes used in its creation.
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