Derby, Western Australia
Born c.1920, Glenroy Station, Kimberley Region, Western Australia.
Died 2008, Derby, Western Australia.
Ngarra’s paintings are profound repositories of allegory and metaphor that reveal his distinctive ability to transform elements of his traditional culture into compelling visual and political statements. An artist of versatility and subtlety, Ngarra’s works encompass a range of themes from important Dreaming stories through to playful images of pastoral life. A master colourist, he is one of the few Indigenous artists in Australia to color mix his own paints from a basic palette. Ross Moore has praised Ngarra’s “remarkable iconic shorthand [with which] he condenses stories of frontier experience”, while Robert Nelson has compared Ngarra’s paintings to musical notes, pulsing in an ethereal veil of “gravity and airiness.
Art Gallery of Western Australia
Berndt Museum of Anthropology,University of Western Australia
National Gallery of Victoria
Western Australian Museum
Edith Cowan University
Redland City Art Gallery, Cleveland, Queensland
Lord McAlpine Collection