Born: c. 1936
Language Group: Anmatyerre
Country: Ahalpere, Utopia Region, North East of Alice Springs
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas and Linen, Batik on Silk
Subjects: Anwekety (Conkerberry)
Like her sisters (Angelina and Kathleen Ngale), Polly predominantly paints the Anwekety (conkerberry, also referred to as the bush plum), depicted through superimposed dot work. A vibrant and bubbly person, Polly speaks little English and lives a traditional life at Utopia (North East of Alice Springs).
Mbantua Gallery Permanent Collection, Alice Springs
The Holmes á Court Collection, Perth
|1989||Utopia Women's Paintings, the First Works on Canvas, A Summer Project, 1988-89, S. H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney|
|1990||'Utopia - A Picture Story' an exhibition of 88 works on silk from the Holmes á Court Collection by Utopia artists which toured Eire and Scotland|
|2000||Arts d'Australie Stephane Jacob/Espace Mezzo - Avenue des ChampsElysees, Paris; Arts d'Australie, Stephane Jacob / Air France, Paris|
|2003||20th Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin|
|2008||Emily and Her Legacy, Hillside Gallery, Tokyo with Coo-ee Art Sydney in conjunction with the opening of the landmark retrospective exhibition Utopia the Genius of Emily Kngwarreye at the National Art Centre, Tokyo, Japan|
|2008||Dreamings the Land, Outback Aboriginal Art, Caulfield, Vic|
|Brody, A.||1989, Utopia Women's Paintings: the First Works on Canvas, A Summer Project, 1988-89, exhib. cat., Heytesbury Holdings, Perth. ©|
|Brody, A.||1990, Utopia: a Picture Story, 88 Silk Batiks from the Robert Holmes á Court Collection, Heytesbury Holdings Ltd, Perth. ©|
|Aboriginal Artists Dictionary of Biographies - Central Desert, Western Desert & Kimberley Region, written by Janusz B.Kreczmanski & Margo Birnberg|
The conkerberry (or conkleberry) known as Anwekety or bush plum to Polly, is a sweet black berry that is favoured by desert aboriginals. They only grow on the plant (Carissa lanceolata) for a few weeks of the year, however Polly's people collect plenty of them and store them dry, soaking them in water again before being consumed. The plant of the conkerberry is a tangled, spiny shrub that can grow up to 2m high. After rain fragrant white flowers bloom. This plant also bares medicinal properties. The orange inner bark from the roots can be soaked in water and the resultant solutions can be used as a medicinal wash. This is particularly favoured for skin and eye conditions. The thorns on the shrub can be used to cure warts.
Polly paints the conkerberry (dot work). In Anmatyerre the conkerberry is called Anwekety. This fruit looks very similar to a plum and is often referred to in English by Polly as a 'bush plum'. In the Dreamtime, winds blew from all directions, carrying the Anwekety seed over Polly's ancestors' land. The first Anwekety of the Dreamings then grew, bore fruit and dropped more seeds. Many winds blew the seeds all over the Dreaming lands.