Polly Ngale (Kngale) Biography

Polly Kngale (Ngale) portrait

View Polly Ngale (Kngale) paintings

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.

 

COLLECTIONS

Holmes a Court Collection, Perth
The Holt Collection
The World Bank, Washington, USA
 

EXHIBITIONS

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