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    Our vibrant and dynamic artists are from the Utopia region; a large remote area of Central Australia which, until recently, had no government funded art centre. As a result of their pioneering efforts, they have one of the strongest and richest art histories.

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    Anwekety (Conkerberry) by Polly Ngale

    150cm x 120cm

    Dots in this painting represent anwekety (conkerberries), its Dreaming story belonging to Polly's country, Ahalpere. Conkerberries are a favoured sweet black berry. They only grow on the plant (Carissa lanceolata) for a few weeks of the year, however the Ahalpere people would collect plenty of them and store them dry, soaking them in water again before being consumed. The conkerberry tree is a tangled, spiny shrub that can grow up to 2m high. After rain fragrant white flowers bloom. It also bares medicinal properties.

    • This painting comes unstretched and rolled in a tube. We are happy to help you find a framer in your area and help coordinate it to make it as easy as possible for you. Please contact us.
    • Size of painting: Approx 150cm x 120cm
    • Border: Approx 6cm strip of black canvas border; enough required for wrapping around a 2cm or 3cm stretcher frame which is the popular choice for framing Aboriginal art.
    • Material: 
    • 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
    Deceased: 2022

    Polly Ngale was considered one ofthe most accomplished painters to have come from Utopia.Born sometime around 1936, Polly was first introduced to the medium of batik in the late 1970's before commencing painting in the 1990's.

    Watching Polly paint, you saw the ultra focus and the joy. She appeared to be under a trance like state, even to the point of missing the paint pot on her next daub, rarely looking away from the painting as she scooped up more paint with the brush and painted the next layer. Paint on the floor around her, on her hands, was inevitable. But she would pause often and gesture across the canvas: 'good one' she would say.

    Polly painted the Conkerberry Story. The sweet little conkerberries are called anwekety in Polly's native language and are sacred to the people of Ahalpere country. It is said that in the Dreamtime, 'winds blew from all directions carrying the seed of this sweet black berry over the land. The first conkerberry then grew, bore fruit and dropped more seeds. Winds blew these seeds all over the Dreaming lands.'

    Painting was an extension of ceremonial song and dance in that it paid homage to the anwekety and the ancestors.

    Polly Ngale's paintings were a labour of love. Large paintings took a lot of time and effort, particularly towards the end. She was, after all, still painting in her late 80's before she passed away.

    The superimposed dotting technique Polly employed with a paintbrush was used to create vivid, almost multi-dimensional patterns of colour, and it has been said she was able to 'convey a deep emotion and sensory experience for the viewer', similar to fellow Utopian Emily Kame Kngwarreye.

    Polly was married to Emily's brother from Alhalkere, and together they had seven children. Polly passed away peacefully in August 2022 in Alice Springs.

    NOTABLE COLLECTIONS + EXHIBITIONS

    Polly's 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: UL018118
    Shop more paintings by Polly Ngale


    100% Original

    This painting is a genuine original creation, meticulously hand-painted by the artist using acrylics.

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