Polly Ngale (Kngale) Biography
Polly Ngale (Kngale) has painted incredible glowing storms of colour for nearly 30 years, like a rainbow through a rainstorm at sunrise, her paintings define her as a great colourist of our time.
Polly was born around 1940 in Utopia, Northern Territory, into the Anmatyerre tribe. As a teenage girl, Polly learned the art of body painting during the traditional ceremonies in her country, Utopia.
Polly began her artistic career in 1977 with the production of batiks when she was instructed by Suzie Bryce, a craft instructor, and Yipati, a Pitjantjatjara artist from Ernabella. When Jenny Green arrived at Utopia and continued the women's education in this new technique, Polly was an enthusiastic participant. She painted bush plum stories with an exuberant use of colour. Her design is reminiscent of the delicate batik work produced by some Indonesian, specifically Balinese, women. Her finely dotted work was well received, although slow to produce.
Often travelling with her younger sisters Kathleen and Angeline, Polly would bring her flowing silk creations to Delmore on a visit, often as a head scarf. Working on the silk she gained great confidence in the use of colour, which gave her a great advantage when she had access to a wide range of rich colours at Delmore when she started painting on linen.
Polly took part in the Summer project in 1988/89 at the S. H. Ervin Gallery in Sydney. Her silk batiks were later shown to a wider audience in 1990 when 88 works from the Holmes a Court collection toured Ireland, Scotland and Harvard University and the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis in the USA; Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts, Oregon, USA; The Forum, St Louis, Missouri USA; and the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney.
Meanwhile in April 1989, along with her sisters Angeline and Kathleen Ngale (or Kngale as it has traditionally been spelled), Polly began painting at Delmore for The Holt Family using Matisse acrylic paint on Belgian linen. In October 1989 paintings by Polly were shown and sold quickly at an exhibition supplied and curated by the Holts of Delmore and held at Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi to wide acclaim. Polly has sold to collectors in France, the United Kingdom and the USA as well as Australia.
Polly has continued to paint at Delmore, slowly, adding layer upon layer of dots to create magnificent storms of translucent colour.
Holmes a Court Collection, Perth
The Holt Collection
The World Bank, Washington, USA
2010 Spring, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
2009 JGM, London
2008 Utopia Revisited, NG Art Gallery, Sydney.
2009 Utopia - Bush Plum & Other delicacies, Honey Ant Gallery, Noosa, QLD
2007 Arts d’Australie, Stephane Jacob, Paris
2007 Journeys and Dreams, Gecko Gallery, Broome
2005 Neville Keating Gallery, London
2003 Telstra Art Award, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin
2000 Arts d’Australie, Stephane Jacob, Paris
1992 Modern Art – Ancient Icon, The World Bank, Washington, USA
1990 Utopia – A Picture Story, batik from the Holmes A Court Collection
1990 Art of the Eastern Desert, Eastern Desert Art, Brisbane
1989 Utopia Women’s Paintings, A Summer Project, S.H. Ervin Gallery Sydney
1989 Aboriginal Art from Utopia, Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne
EXHIBITION OF BATIK SILKS
1988 Time Before Time, Austral Gallery, St Louis, USA
1988 Painting and Batik from the Desert, Utopia Art, Sydney, NSW
1988 Utopia Batik, Craft Council Gallery, Canberra, ACT
1988 Utopia Batik, Queensland Museum, Brisbane, QLD
1987 Fremantle Arts Centre, Fremantle, WA
1987 Darwin Museum Gallery, Darwin, NT
1987 Yirrkala Community Centre, Northern Territory
1987 Jogyakarta Fine Art Academy, Indonesia
1987 Sydney Expo, Craft Council Gallery, Sydney, NSW
1987 The Araluen Centre, Alice Springs, NT
1986 Craft Council Gallery, Canberra, ACT
1986 Bundaberg Art Gallery, Queensland
1986 The Araluen Centre, Springs Craft Festival, Alice Springs, NT
1985 Black Women in Focus, Adelaide Festival, Adelaide, SA
1985 Burnie Gallery, Tasmania
1985 Tasmanian Craft Gallery, Hobart, TAS
1984 Craft Council Gallery, Canberra, ACT
1984 Queensland University Gallery, Brisbane, QLD
1984 Fireworks Gallery, Adelaide, SA
1984 Sydney Craft Expo, Sydney, NSW
1984 Darwin Craft Council Gallery, Darwin, NT
1984 The Araluen Centre, Alice Springs, NT
1983 Adelaide Festival Centre, Adelaide, SA
1983 Alice Springs Craft Council, Alice Springs, NT
1982 Sydney Craft Expo, Sydney, NSW
1982 Brisbane Commonwealth Games Exhibition, Brisbane, QLD
1981 Floating Forests of Silks - Utopia Batik from the Desert, Adelaide Festival Centre, SA
1980 Artworks, Alice Springs, NT