Ngoia Pollard Napaltjarri

(born c. 1948; also known as Ngnoia) is a Walpiri-speaking Indigenous artist from Australia’s Western Desert region. Ngoia Pollard began her contemporary artistic career by assisting her husband, who painted with Papunya Tula artists for several years prior to his death. In 1997, Ngoia Pollard began painting independently, and in 2004 won the first prize in a central Australian painting competition supported by the region’s major newspaper, the Centralian Advocate. In 2006, Ngoia Pollard won the painting prize in the National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Awards, with her work Swamps west of Nyirripi. Another of her works painted in the same year, and carrying the same title, was acquired by the Art Gallery of South Australia. 2006 was also marked by an artist’s residency in Copenhagen, shared with fellow Indigenous artist Lilly Kelly Napangardi, whom she had known since they attended school together in the 1960s. Collections holding her works include the National Gallery of Australia. She has had solo exhibitions with private galleries in Sydney and Perth. Western Desert artists such as Ngoia Pollard frequently paint particular ‘dreamings’, or stories, for which they have personal responsibility or rights. Many of Ngoia’s works relate to the region of Yamunturrngu, or Mount Liebig, in the country to the west of Haasts Bluff; this is her father’s country,…infused with the spiritual power of the narrative of the watersnake.
This snake lives in the swamps and lakes near Nyrippi (Talarada), unoccupied ‘dangerous territory’ north west of Mt. Liebig. The transcendental calm of her paintings, with their drifts of monochrome clouds of dots, belie the danger of the land and its creatures that they depict. Her works are often characterised by the use of oval shapes representing swamps and lakes. The dotted forms represent the ground cracking as water dries up. Other themes in her work include the sand hills of the desert country.

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