Angelina Ngale

About the Artist

Angelina Ngale

Born: 1947                  Language Group: Anmatyerre

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Born to Nellie Petyarre in the arid desert area of Utopia Station in 1947, Angelina Ngale (also known as Angelina Pwerle) has become an Australian renowned aboriginal artist with her work held in collections both nationally and internationally.

Initially Angelina began in the medium of batik when this begun in the late 1970’s at Utopia. When acrylics swept the Utopia region about a decade later Angelina made the swift transition and has continued using this medium like other Utopia artists.

Becoming well known for her fine dot representations of the Anwekety(conkerberry, also known as conkleberry and bush plum) Angelina quickly became a household name amongst Australian Indigenous galleries. Like most other women Angelina can paint the women’s ceremonial body paint designs (Awelye) which she does so with a bold and colourful feel, though she paints much less of this. Angelina also enjoys painting another subject, the story of Atham-areny.

Atham-areny are small creatures that live where there is no fire. On a trip home to Utopia in January 2003 with Mbantua’s field team, Angelina showed us the site of the Atham-areny story and agreed to paint this story for us. Angelina returned with her first two Atham-areny paintings later that month both of which are now held in the Mbantua Gallery Permanent Collection. Her Atham-areny paintings depict the women prepared to sing and dance with witch doctors to draw sickness out of those touched by the atham-areny creatures.

On a personal level, Angelina was wife number one to artist and sculptor Louis Pwerle (1935 – 1999) though their union never bore children.


Commonwealth Law Courts, Melbourne

Holmes á Court Collection, Perth

La Trobe University Collection, Melbourne

Mbantua Gallery Permanent Collection, Alice Springs

National Gallery, Victoria

National Gallery of Australia, Canberra Art Bank, Sydney.

The National Museum of Art, Osaka, Japan

Solo Exhibitions

2001 Niagara Galleries, Melbourne

1999 Niagara Galleries, Melbourne

Group Exhibitions

1989 Utopia Women’s Paintings, the first works on canvas, Sydney

1989 Twelve Men and an Echidna, Utopia Art, Sydney

1990 The Last Show, Utopia Art, Sydney Art from Utopia, Orange Regional Gallery, NSW

Second Australian Contemporary Art Fair, Melbourne

1991 Long Hot Summer, Utopia Art, Sydney Utopia, Utopia Art, Sydney Men and Dogs, Utopia Art, Sydney

1992 Bubbles, Baubles & Beads, Utopia Art, Sydney

1992 Aboriginal Painting, Austral Gallery, St Louis, USA

1992 Little Friends, Utopia Art, Sydney

1993 Utopia Women, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney

1993 Camp Scenes, Utopia Art Sydney, Sydney

1993 Utopia Sculpture, Niagara Galleries, Melbourne

1994 This Land, Utopia Art, Sydney

1994 The Oval Board Collection, Bishop Museum, Hawaii; Wadsworth Athenaeum, Connecticut; Tampa Museum of Art, Florida, USA

1994 Central Australia Aboriginal and Craft Exhibition, Araluen Centre, Alice Springs

1996 Painted People; Sculpture from Utopia, Utopia Art Sydney, Sydney Fifth Australian Contemporary Art Fair, Melbourne

1997 14th National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin

28th Alice Prize, Araluen Centre for Arts and Entertainment, Alice Springs

1998  Dreamings, Spazio Pitti Arte, Florence, Italy

1998 Mbantua Gallery, Alice Springs, N.T

1998 Art Gallery ‘Culture Store’, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

1998 Sixth Australian Contemporary Art Fair, Melbourne

1999 Blue Chip 11: The Collectors’ Exhibition Niagara Galleries, Melbourne

2000 Not the done thing! Niagara Galleries, Sydney

2001 Spirituality and Australian Aboriginal Art, Madrid and touring regional Spain 2001 Mbantua Gallery, Alice Springs, N.T

2002 Mbantua Gallery USA exhibitions: Art and Soul Gallery, Nashville, TN; 'The Cove Gallery' Portland, OR; Urban Wine Works, Portland, OR; Mary's Woods, Portland, OR Sept

2003 Mbantua Gallery USA exhibitions: New City Merchants, Knoxville, TN; Art and Soul Gallery, Nashville, TN; 'The Cove Gallery' Portland, OR; Mary's Woods, Portland, OR

2003  Contemporary Aboriginal Art Event,Umpqua Bank in conjunction with Mbantua Gallery, Portland, Oregon USA

2003  Art from the Dreamtime,Portland Art Museum, Portland OR USA

2004 ‘Last of the 20 th Century’, Mbantua Gallery, Alice Springs

2004 Mbantua Gallery USA exhibition; Nashville, Tennessee

2005  ‘Small Wonders’ (A collection of 1’x1’ and 1’x1½’ paintings), Mbantua Gallery, Alice Springs, N.T

2004-2006  Evolution of Utopia, Mbantua Gallery Cultural Museum, Alice Springs December

2006 Camp Scenes and Utopia Life, Mbantua Gallery, Alice Springs

2008  Emily and Her Legacy, Hillside Gallery, Tokyo with Coo-ee Art Sydney in conjunction with the opening of the landmark retrospective exhibition Utopia – the Genius of Emily Kngwarreyeat the National Art Centre, Tokyo, Japan

Further References

Boulter, M.  The Art of Utopia,Craftsman House Press, 1991, NSW

Isaacs, J.  ‘Bush Gardens’ Art & Australia, Vol 35, No 4, 1998, Fine Arts Press, NSW

Kleinert, S and Neale M.The Oxford Companion to Aboriginal Art and Culture,2000, Oxford University Press, NSW

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