Delmore Gallery, NT Cat No. 08B23
Metro Gallery, Vic
Private Collection, NSW
Kathleen Ngal was born at Camel Camp, an outstation near the Sandover River on the Utopia clan lands in the Eastern Desert, 240 kilometres north-east of Alice Springs. She began her artistic career creating Batik designs on silk during workshops organised by Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association (CAAMA) in the late 1970s.
Her paintings can be interpreted as sophisticated mind maps, depicting cultural knowledge of her country as well as its physical geography. Thousands of dots of colour rained across her brilliant canvases, denoting the varied flora and geographical locations of the Bush Plum.
The site depicted is Arlperre on Utopia Station. This is country that belongs to the Ngal and Kemarr custodians, who paint the Bush Plum or Conkleberry, which only thrives once every seven years, following large storms.
Kathleen’s paintings can be predominantly white, representing the petals of its flowers, or a range of orange, red, blue, purple, and yellow, depending on the different degrees of ripeness of the plum. In this work, we see the plant’s final flourish, as white dots overlay the canvas, representing the sun-dried leaves, seeds, husks, and grasses of Arlperre.Share