Naata Nungurrayi

Naata Nungurrayi

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DOB: c. 1932
Born: Kumilnga, Pollock Hills, WA

Naata Nungurrayi is a respected senior elder and is recognised as a highly important artist in the Kintore women's artist movement. Naata was born c.1932 at the rockhole site of Kumil, west of the Pollock Hills in Western Australia. She lives now in Walungurru with her sister Nancy Nungurrayi. Naata is from the Pintupi Language group.
Naata and her family came to Papunya from the desert bush in April 1962, and were brought into a camp by Jeremy Long, who was operating patrols out of Darwin. When Walungurru (Kintore ) was established as the main Pintupi settlement in early 1982, Naata moved there with Pintupi people from her camp and from the west camp at Papunya. Naata started painting in late 1994 at Kintore along with other women artists from the Haasts Bluff community, and began commissioned paintings for Papunya Tula artists in 1996.

Naata is a full blood sister to Nancy Nungurrayi Ross, sister to George (Hairbrush) Tjungurrayi, and mother to Kenny Williams Tjampitjinpa; all highly respected artists in their own right.

The Dreamings that Naata paints depict sacred women's sites and women's ceremonies in the Kintore and Kiwirrkura region. As an elder and through her lineage, Naata is one of the few women to have permission to paint certain features of these Dreamings. She has developed a distinctive sytle, quite different to the mens' style of the region.

Her paintings are sought by most major Australian galleries and collectors worldwide. Naata's artworks have been entered into the 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards, a prestigious Award established in 1984 to recognize the important contribution made by Indigenous artists, and is now one of the premier national events in the Australian Indigenous art calendar. Naata Nungurrayi was named among the Top 50 of Australia's Most Collectable Artists in Australian Art Collector January - March 2004.

Auction records:

Title: The Soakage Water Site of Unkunya, West Of the Pollack Hills in Western Australia 2005
Details: Synthetic polymer paint on linen, 183 x 153 cm
Auction Price: $216k Highest, 112 offered at auction
Auction House: Sothebys Melbourne Important Aboriginal Art


  • Australian National University, Canberra
  • The Holmes a Court Collection
  • Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney
  • National Gallery of Victoria, Melboiurne
  • Museums & Act Galleries of the Northern Territory, Darwin
  • Australian Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
  • Artbank

Awards and Recognition

2008 Western Australian Art Award, Perth - Finalist
2004 Top 50 Collectable Artists, Australian Art Collector Magazine
2002 19th NATSIAA, Darwin - Finalist and Highly Commended


Selected Exhibitions:

2019 - Defining Tradition: the first wave & its disciples, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
2017 - Gems of the Stockroom, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
2003 - "Pintupi Art 2003" Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
2003 20th National Aboriginal & Torres strait Islander Art Award
2002 - "Paintings from our Country" Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
2002 - "Pintupi Mens and Womens Stories", Subiaco, Western Australia, Australia
2002 - 19th Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award, Darwin, NT Australia
2002 - "Pintupi Artists", Papunya Tula Artists, Northern Territory, Australia.
2001 - Palm Beach Art Fair, Palm Beach, Florida, USA
2001 - "Papunya Tula 30th Anniversary Exhibition", Canberra, ACT, Australia
2001 - "Pintupi Exhibition", Papunya Tula Artists, Northern Territory, Australia
2001 - 18th National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia
2001 - "Spirituality and Australian Aboriginal Art", Comunlidad de Madrid touring exhibition, Spain
2000 - Dream Space,Original and Authentic Aboriginal Art, Melbourne, Victoria
2000 - Papunya Tula "Genesis and Genius", Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.
2000 - 17th National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award, Darwin, NT, Australia
2000 - "Pintupi Women", Papunya Tula Artists, Northern Territory, Australia.
1999 - Twenty-Five Years and Beyond Flinders University of South Australia, Bedford Park, South Australia, Australia
1997 - The Desert Mob Art Show, Araluen Art Centre, Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia.
1995 - Minyma Tjukurrpa