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Contemporary art

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art

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Naata Nungurrayi


circa 1932 -

Language group

Pintupi, Western Desert region


Naata Nungurrayi began painting for Papunya Tula Artists early 1996. She is presently one of the most senior artists at Kintore. 'Untitled', 1999, is an epic work for Naata, boldly experimental in colour and composition. It is an ambitious work which is effectively a great leap forward in her career.
In 1997 the Art Gallery of New South Wales purchased a collection of sixteen paintings by a representative group of women artists including examples of paintings by all the most important women artists from the Kintore/Kiwirrkura communities.
In 'Aboriginal Artists of the Western Desert', 1994, Vivien Johnson states that at the time the book was published very few women from Kintore and Kiwirrkura painted regularly. For years many of these women helped their husbands (who are some of the most significant of the Western desert painters) and have received no recognition or acknowledgement for their work. It is only recently that they have started painting in their own right.
Paintings by the Kintore and Kiwirrkura women refer to a large area of their ancestral country around the settlements of Kintore, Kiwirrkura and Tjukula - settlements and camps in the vicinity of the Northern Territory and Western Australia border, and the Gibson Desert.
Rockholes and soakages form the most recognisable symbols in the women's paintings while Stories associated with the Tingari cycle of ceremonies are also painted by some artists. This is significant because the men's business associated with the Tingari Ceremonies is often represented in Western Desert paintings while works by women dealing with this subject matter are rare.

Australian Art Department, AGNSW, 2000




Media category


Materials used

synthetic polymer paint on linen canvas


122.0 x 151.0 cm stretcher

Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.


Mollie Gowing Acquisition Fund for Contemporary Aboriginal Art 2000


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Naata Nungurrayi

Works in the collection



Where the work was made
Central and Western Desert

Shown in 2 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 3 publications


Hetti Perkins, Art + soul: a journey into the world of Aboriginal art, 'Home + away', pg. 1-86, Carlton, 2010, 22-23 (colour illus.), 278.

Hetti Perkins and Margie West, One sun one moon: Aboriginal art in Australia, ‘Bobby West Tjupurrula in conversation’, pg. 190-193, Sydney, 2007, 193 (colour illus.).

Hetti Perkins and Hannah Fink (Editors), Papunya Tula: genesis and genius, Sydney, 2000, 145 (colour illus.), 284. no catalogue number