Polly Ngale (Kngale) has painted exquisite glowing clouds of colour for nearly thirty years, adding layer upon layer of dots to create magnificent images. Polly's paintings often depict bright yellow seeds, a feast for emus, amongst the bush plums that grow in her country. Polly is inspired, as are her sisters, Kathleen and Angeline, by the conkerberry, or wild plum (anwekety or bush plum, as it is known to Polly). They traditionally are very much involved with every part of the life of this wonderful bush, which after summer rains produces a prolific crop of delicious purple berries that are sweet to the taste and highly nutritious, and greatly favoured by desert aboriginals.
The Dreaming of her artwork.
These sweet, rich dark purple berries only grow on the plant (Carissa lanceolata) for a couple of weeks throughout the year, but Polly’s people collect plenty of them and store them dry, immersing them in water again before being eaten. The plant of the conkerberry is a tangled, spiny shrub that can grow up to two metres high. This plant also bares medicinal properties. The orange inner bark from the roots can be soaked in water and the product of that process, is a solution that can be used as a type of medicinal wash. This is particularly favoured for skin and eye conditions. The thorns on the shrub also have curative properties. The green bush produces fragrant white flowers, then the tiny green berries ripen and grow, changing colour over weeks from light green to pink and browns to yellow, to shades of red and purple when they finally ripen. The fruit looks very similar to a plum and is often referred to in English by Polly as a ‘bush plum’. During the Dreamtime, winds came from all directions, carrying the anwekety seed over Polly’s ancestors’ land. The anwekety of the Dreamings then propagated, bore fruit and dropped more seeds. Many winds blew the seeds all over the Dreaming lands. Ceremonies are held in honour of anwekety in which bodies are anointed with emu oil, then ochre paint; singing and dancing follow, ensuring that the sweet wild plum fruit will continue to feed the Anmatyerre people at Utopia.
Polly Ngale’s paintings are borne from traditional knowledge and her confident approach to painting is revealed in the way she assembles streams of seeds, gradually and deliberately piling dots upon each other to create rich fields with a glowing palette of colour. Her subject matter is drawn from acute observation and memory, her intimate knowledge of Country, personal history and ancestral journey. Brilliant in her portrayal of these elements, her artworks are sensuous meditative maps that reveal Polly’s place, her sense of self, and her worldview all within one framework. Delmore Gallery is delighted to represent Polly Ngale (Kngale) and her stunning artworks, and to present them for sale online.
Browse Polly Ngale (Kngale) artworks for sale in Delmore Gallery’s online store or contact us for further details.