Kathleen Ngala

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kathleen_ngala_photo_s1Skin Name: Ngala (also spelt Ngal, Kngal,Ngale)

Language Group: Anmatyerr

Region: Camel Camp, Utopia, Northern Territory

Vendor: Utopian Aboriginal Art

Dreaming: Bush Plum (Arnwekety)


Kathleen Ngala was born in approximately 1933 and is one of the senior boss women on Utopia. Her language is Anmatyerr and she is married to the artist and sculptor, Paddy Motorbike.
She lives at the outstation of Camel Camp with her large family and sisters artist Polly Ngala, Maisie Ngala and artist Angeline Pwerle Ngala. Like her sisters, Kathleen is a senior custodian for the Bush Plum – Arnwekety – in her country of of Arlparra although all sisters have very different techniques for expressing their dreaming.
Kathleen started her career in batik before she was introduced to paint and canvas. She is an extremely fine painter and has exhibited both nationally and internationally. She was a finalist in the 2000 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Award and until just recently she has become a finalist in the 25th Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards. The Ceremony for the awards will be held on the 15th August 2008.


  • 2000 – Urapunja artists in Brisbane, Micheal Sourgnes
  • 2000 – Out of the Desert, Desert Gallery Sydney
  • 2001 – Utopia a Special Painting Place, Bett Gallery, Hobart, Tasmania
  • 2001 – Desert Mob, Araluen Galleries, NT
  • 2001 – Bush Plum Dreaming, Indigenart, Perth, WA
  • 2002 – Two Sisters, Kathleen and Polly, Lorraine Diggings, Melbourne
  • 2002 – Australian Modern, Fondazione Mudima, Milan, Italy
  • 2004 – Desert Mob, Araluen Galleries, NT
  • 2006 – Lorraine Diggins exhibition, London
  • 2006 – Senior Women of Utopia, GalleryG, Brisbane
  • 2007 – Patterns of Power, Art from the Eastern Desert, Simmer on the Bay Gallery, Sydney
  • 2007 – Desert Song, Brush with Art Festival, Prairie Hotel, Parachilna, South Australia
  • 2008 – Power of Place, Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute Inc.
  • 2008 – Emily Kngwarreye and Her Legacy, Tokyo, Japan