Bush Plum Country (290154)

Kathleen Ngal

Bush Plum Country (290154) by Kathleen Ngal


Kathleen Ngal
Bush Plum Country (290154)
synthetic polymer on linen
127.5 x 96 cm

Language: Anmatyarr

© the artist
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The Ngal Sisters: Painting Country - Kathleen, Poly and Angelina Ngal, Lauraine Diggins Fine Art, Melbourne 24 April – 29 May 2010

Further Information

Kathleen Ngal depicts her country, Aharlper with a particular focus on the bush plum, a plant with white flowers and small berries which ripen from yellow and orange to pink and purple.

Her paintings can be read in one sense as a kind of map, tracing journeys through their country and showing where to find the bush plum which is important for practical purposes as a food source and further as an important part of women’s ceremonial rites. Meaning is further extended to maintain a relation to the bush plum, but in which translations of points of geography, elements of knowledge of places or memories of hunting or ceremonial business result in a subtle and textured surface which hints to the viewer of an ethereal landscape.

Kathleen's style of layering and overdotting creates a beautiful luminescent glow and sense of depth and movement to her work. This movement and rhythm found in each painting is central to their actual creation, with the tapping sound of stick against canvas.

Kathleen and her sister Poly belong to the oldest living generation of Utopia and are amongst the most accomplished painters who have worked at Utopia during the past twenty years.

Kathleen is married to Motorbike Paddy, who is the traditional owner of the country where Camel Camp is located and where the Ngal sisters live. She is known for applying a final layer of white dots, representing the bush plum flowers, over her entire canvas, allowing the shimmering colour of the underwork to shine through. Kathleen has also experimented with a looser style and occasional use of brush instead of usual sticks.

Kathleen says about her country, “Pretty, pretty country, my country, all my country, Aharlper, Bush Plum, flowers, all the flowers, white flowers coming out now all over my country.”

Represented: Art Gallery of South Australia; Art Gallery of Western Australia; Art Gallery of Queensland; National Gallery of Australia; National Gallery of Victoria; Benalla Art Gallery; Nebaluna Collection, Hobart; Shepparton Art Gallery; Private collections: Australia; Canada; United States of America; Lauraine Diggins, Melbourne; Thomas Vroom collection, The Netherlands; The Holt collection

Return to the Innovative Australian Women exhibition homepage.

View further works by Kathleen Ngal