Painting Birdsong With Nyangulya Katie Nalgood

Artist Nyangulya Katie Nalgood’s bright and joyful paintings of birds reflect on her childhood, spent surrounded by the chatter of birdsong.

The works in ‘Jalmarra-jarti, All the birds have wings’ sing with birdsong. Painted at Spinifex Hill Studio, the exhibition is on display at Paul Johnstone Gallery in Darwin, opening November 16th.

Miriam McGarry

Nyangulya Katie Nalgood at work at Spinifex Hill Studio. Photo – Bobbi Lockyer.

Nyangulya Katie Nalgood, artist and Walmajarri elder. Photo – Bobbi Lockyer.

Colourful One, 2019. Acrylic on canvas, 71 x 61 cm.

Katie Nalgood, Family, 2019. Acrylic on canvas, 61 x 91.5 cm.

Katie Nalgood, Ibis, 2019. Acrylic on canvas, 61 x 71 cm.

Acrylic paints ready to be transformed into birds! Photo – Bobbi Lockyer.

Birds beginning to take shape. Photo – Bobbi Lockyer.

Katie Nalgood, Love Birds, 2019. Acrylic on canvas, 71 x 91.5 cm.

Kate Nalgood, Prowling in the Dark, 2019. Acrylic on canvas, 56 x 51 cm.

Katie Nalgood, Old Fella, 2019. Acrylic on canvas, 76 x 76 cm

Katie Nalgood, Long Beak, 2019. Acrylic on canvas, 61 x 71 cm.

Black Cockatoo’s, 2019. Acrylic on canvas, 61 x 71 cm.

Katie Nalgood, Pelican, 2019. Acrylic on canvas, 76 x 91.5 cm.

Katie Nalgood, Zebra Finch, 2019. Acrylic on canvas, 51 x 56 cm.

Red Body, 2019. Acrylic on canvas, 76 x 101.5 cm.

Miriam McGarry
15th of November 2019

Nyangulya Katie Nalgood is an artist and Walmajarri elder whose colourful and evocative works depict the birds of her home. Born at Nimingarra Station in 1975, she reflects on a childhood spent with a soundtrack of birdsong, thinking ‘I would like to paint these when I grow up…Birds are the first things we see, you know, when we wake up. See and hear.’

Jalmarra-jarti, All the birds have wings highlights how Katie, her Country, and its birds are connected and should all be considered as one, ‘you can’t have the sea without water, or the desert without the sand.’ The acrylic paintings offer characterful portraits of the birds of the Kimberly and Pilbara region, rendered in evocative brushstrokes that offer an insight into Katie’s relationship with the birds and country. From the jaunty legs of Ibis to the family of yellow, green and purple birds perched on a branch, these paintings are joyful and bold.

Katie works mostly from the Spinifex Hill Studio art collective in South Headland, travelling from Looma in the Kimberley Region. Katie explains ‘I like coming here to art; keeping busy, better than sitting at home. Painting and relaxing, that’s why I like coming here.’

‘Jalmarra-jarti, All the birds have wings’ by Nyangulya Katie Nalgood November 16 – December 14Paul Johnstone Gallery2/2 Harriet PlaceDarwin City, Northern Territory

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