Angelina NGALE - Rainbow Dreaming

Angelina NGALE - Rainbow Dreaming

1996, 91 x 60cm ADG:2009

ADG: 2009



Rainbow Dreaming - Story of Painting

Angelina NGALE

Born 1947

Language Eastern Anmatyerre

Area Ahalpere Country, Utopia, Northern Territory

Country Arlperre

Region Utopia Homelands

Medium Batik on silk/cotton, acrylic on canvas/linen, wood carving

Stories Body Paint Design, Bush Plum, Women’s Dreamtime, Ancestor Stories

Born to Nellie Petyarre at Utopia Station c.1947, Angelina was wife number one to artist and sculptor, Louis Pwerle (c.1935-1999), number two wife is Sarah Morton Kngwarreye all of whom are renowned artists at Arnkewenyerr, a small outstation in the north of the Utopia region. Angelina was involved in the Utopia Women’s Batik group in the 1970s and began painting in the late 1980s. Her first works were included in a group exhibition in Sydney ‘Utopia Women’s Paintings’, 1989.

Angelina now lives with her sisters Kathleen and Polly, and extended family at Camel Camp near Three Bores in Utopia, located 240km North East of Alice Springs. As with her sisters, Angelina began producing batiks in the 1980s, and also had skills in producing wooden sculptures, influenced by her late husband, Louis Pwerl, the older brother of Cowboy Louis Pwerl. Angelina was formerly known as Angelina Pwerl (her husband’s name) and she is referred to today as Angelina Ngal(e). (Pwerl in Alyawarr language is the equivalent to Ngal(e) in the Anmatyerr language).

Angelina’s work can be bold and vibrant with linear work illustrating body paint design, yet they are delicate and subtle when portraying her Bush Plum story from Ahalpere country. Angelina’s happy paintings of the Women’s Ancestor Dreamtime Stories depict female ancestors painted up for Awelye (Women’s Ceremony) in brightly coloured landscapes.


National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide

Commonwealth Law Courts, Melbourne

Kerry Stokes Collection, Perth

Latrobe University Collection, Melbourne

Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children, Sydney

The Holmes A Court Collection, Perth

The National Museum of Art, Osaka, Japan

Artbank, Sydney

Allen, Allen and Hemsley Collection, Sydney


1997 Finalist.14th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award, Museum and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory, Darwin

1997 Finalist. 28th Alice Prize, Araluen Centre for Arts and Entertainment, Alice Springs

2006 Finalist. 23rd National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award, (Telstra Award). Museum and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory, Darwin

2008 Finalist. 2008 Wynne Prize for Landscape painting. Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney

2009 Finalist. 26th National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award, (Telstra Award). Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin


1989 Utopia Women’s Paintings, the first Works on canvas, Sydney

1990 The Last Show, Utopia Art, Sydney Art from Utopia, Orange Regional Gallery, NSW, Second Australian Contemporary Art Fair, Melbourne

1991 Long Hot Summer, Utopia Art, Sydney, Men and Dogs, Utopia Art, Sydney

1992 Aboriginal Painting, Austral Gallery, St Louis, USA

1993 Utopia Women, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney

1994 This Land, Utopia Art, Sydney

1994 The Oval Board Collection, Bishop Museum, Hawaii; Wadsworth Athenaeum, Connecticut; Tampa Museum of Art, Florida, USA

1994 Central Australia Aboriginal and Craft Exhibition, Araluen Centre, Alice Springs

1996 Painted People; Sculpture from Utopia, Utopia Art Sydney, Sydney

1998 Fifth Australian Contemporary Art Fair, Melbourne

1998 Dreamings, Spazio Pitti Arte, Florence, Italy

1998 Art Gallery ‘Culture Store’, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

1999 Blue Chip 2: The Collectors’ Exhibition Niagara Galleries, Melbourne

2001 Spirituality and Australian Aboriginal Art, Madrid and touring regional Spain

2002 Indecorous Abstraction: Contemporary Women Painters, Adelaide

2004 Explained, A closer look at Aboriginal Art, Utrecht, The Netherlands

2004 Melbourne Art Fair 2004, Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne

2008 Power of Place, Paintings and Sculpture from the Eastern Desert, Tandanya Aboriginal Cultural Institute, Adelaide

2010 Desert Country, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide and touring Korea International Art Fair, COEX Korea Exhibition Centre, Seoul, Korea

2011 E(merge): two spiritualities, Space Station Art Space, Beijing and Niagara Galleries, Melbourne

Further reference

Boulter, M. The Art of Utopia, Craftsman House Press, NSW 1991

Isaacs, J. ‘Bush Gardens’ Art & Australia, Vol 35, No 4, 1998, Fine Arts Press, NSW

Kleinert, S and Neale M. The Oxford Companion to Aboriginal Art and Culture, 2000, Oxford University Press, NSW

Ranking - Most Important Australian Indigenous Artists (both living and deceased)

2011 Ranked 139/200

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