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. 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.
Nancy Nungurrayi was born in the Pollock Hills area around 1935. As a small child she lived with her parents at Wala Wala, west of the Kiwirrkura Community. She lived in this area after she was married and when her husband passed away, she walked to Mt Liebig carrying her first child, Marlene Nampitjinpa.
Commencing painting for Papunya Tula artists in 1996, Nancy and her older sister, Naata Nungurrayi, with eight other women from Walunguru, took part in a collaborative painting, which was exhibited at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in 1999.
Nancy has a distinctive technique and uses the large 'U' shapes in her artwork to represent the body paint designs painted on womens' breasts when taking part in the womens ceremony.
Nancy passed away in 2009.