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Anwekety (Conkerberry) by Polly Ngale

180cm x 120cm

Ethically sourced and 100% original

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 
Country: Ahalpere
Area: Utopia Region, Central Australia
Born: c. 1936

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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. 

    • This painting comes unstretched and rolled in a tube. See our Custom Stretching page for stretching options.
    • Size of painting: Approx 180cm x 120cm
    • Border: Approx 6cm strip of black canvas border; enough required for wrapping around a 2cm or 3cm deep stretcher frame which is the popular choice for framing Aboriginal art.
    • Material: Synthetic polymer on Italian linen
    • This painting comes with a Certificate of Authenticity

    Polly Ngale
    Skin name: Ngale 
    Language group: Anmatyerre 
    Country: Ahalpere 
    Area: Utopia Region, Central Australia
    Born: c. 1936 

    Polly Ngale is considered one of the most accomplished painters to have come from Utopia. As with many Utopia women, Polly was first introduced to the medium of batik in the late 1980's before commencing painting in the 1990's. Now an elder in her community, Polly’s paintings portray the Anwekety (Conkerberry) Dreaming, of which she and sister Kathleen Ngale are senior custodians.

    Like Kathleen, Polly creates her paintings by superimposing layers of dots to create multi-dimensional patterns of colour. Her paintings are borne from an intimate knowledge of country and ancestral journey. 

    Her artwork has appeared in the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Award since 2003. Her honourable mention as a 2004 finalist was followed by representation at the Contemporary Art Fair in Paris at the Grand Palais Champs Elysees. Polly was also exhibited in the exhibition Emily Kngwarreye and her Legacy at the Hillside Forum Daikanyama Tokyo in 2008 alongside fellow Utopian Emily Kame Kngwarreye's work. 

    Catalogue: UL018040

    Have your new painting arrive ready to hang (Australian deliveries). We work with a framer to get your artwork stretched and delivered ready to hang so you don't have to worry about anything. 

    Choose the applicable size from our Custom Stretching page and simply add to cart.

    Aboriginal art timber stretcher frame

    100% Original

    This painting is 100% original. Hand painted by the artist with acrylics.

    Ethical Art

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