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Naata Nungurrayi

Untitled - 2009

synthetic polymer on Belgian linen
122.0 x 152.0 cm
EST. $22,000 - $36,000



Yanda Aboriginal Art, NT


The Jacquie McPhee Collection, WA


The Greatest Passion of All, Jacquie McPhee, 2017, p245

Naata Nungurrayi was about 30 years of age when she first encountered a welfare patrol in 1963 and was brought with her family to Papunya. Forced to leave behind her beloved desert homelands, the memory of these places and the life she led there has been the wellspring of her inspiration and the subject matter for her highly sought after paintings. After initially moving to Docker River with family members in the late 1970s she settled in the Kintore region in the early 1980s and began painting for Papunya Tula Artists in 1996. Encouraged by the arts coordinator at Haasts Bluff, Marina Strochi, who was immediately impressed by her particular style, she participated in Papunya group exhibitions for the first time during the following year.
Naata’s paintings combine the carefully composed geometric style that developed at Papunya amongst the Pintupi painting men, with the looser technique and more painterly organic style introduced by the women after the paintings camps of the early and mid 1990s.
Her preference for pale creamy ochres imparts this work with a calming softness while her unhurried technique brings the visual elements together with a spacious sense of harmony. Like several other Pintupi women artists, Naata likes to apply paint thickly, as though molding a rich and textured surface, reflecting her feel for the earth, which underscores her own spiritual and cultural foundations and that of her people.
Naata is the sister of George Tjungurrayi and Nancy Nungurrayi who are also highly sought after artists. In her final painting years, Naata along with George, Nancy, and her son, Kenny Williams Tjampitjinpa, painted principally for Chris Simon of Yanda Art in Alice Springs. She consistently produced works of the highest calibre while moving freely between Alice Springs and her country, deep in Central Australia.