Language Group: Anmatyerre
Country: Ahalpere, Utopia Region, North East of Alice Springs
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas and Linen, Batik on Silk, Wood Carving
Subjects: Atham-areny Story, Anwekety (Conkerberry or Bush Plum), Awelye (Women's Ceremony and Body Paint Designs)
Born to Nellie Petyarre in the arid desert area of Utopia Station in 1947, Angelina Ngale has become an Australian renowned aboriginal artist, with her work held in collections nationally and internationally. Initially Angelina began in the medium of batik when this begun in the late 1970's at Utopia. When acrylics swept the Utopia region about a decade later, Angelina made the swift transition and has continued using this medium like other Utopia artists.
Becoming well known for her fine dot representations of the Anwekety (conkerberry, also known as conkleberry and bush plum), Angelina quickly became a household name amongst Australian Indigenous galleries. Like most other women, Angelina can paint the women's ceremonial body paint designs (Awelye) which she does so with bold and colourful feel, though she paints much less of this. Angelina also enjoys painting another subject, the story of Atham-areny. Atham-areny are small creatures that live where there is no fire. On a trip home to Utopia in January 2003 with Mbantua's field team, Angelina showed us the site of the Atham-areny story and agreed to paint this story for us. Angelina returned with her first two Atham-areny paintings later that month, both of which are now held in the Mbantua Gallery Permanent Collection. Her Atham-areny paintings depict the women prepared to sing and dance with witch doctors to draw sickness out of those touched by the atham-areny creatures.
Commonwealth Law Courts, Melbourne
Holmes á Court Collection, Perth
La Trobe University Collection, Melbourne
Mbantua Gallery Permanent Collection, Alice Springs
National Gallery, Victoria
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra Art Bank, Sydney
The National Museum of Art, Osaka, Japan
|1999||Niagara Galleries, Melbourne|
|2001||Niagara Galleries, Melbourne|
|1989||Utopia Women's Paintings, the first works on canvas, Sydney|
|1989||Twelve Men and an Echidna, Utopia Art, 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 Utopia, Utopia Art, Sydney; Men and Dogs, Utopia Art, Sydney|
|1992||Bubbles, Baubles & Beads, Utopia Art, Sydney|
|1992||Aboriginal Painting, Austral Gallery, St Louis, USA|
|1992||Little Friends, Utopia Art, Sydney|
|1993||Utopia Women, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney|
|1993||Camp Scenes, Utopia Art Sydney, Sydney|
|1993||Utopia Sculpture, Niagara Galleries, Melbourne|
|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; Fifth Australian Contemporary Art Fair, Melbourne|
|1997||14th National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin; 28th Alice Prize, Araluen Centre for Arts and Entertainment, Alice Springs|
|1998||Dreamings, Spazio Pitti Arte, Florence, Italy|
|1998||Mbantua Gallery, Alice Springs, N.T|
|1998||Art Gallery 'Culture Store', Rotterdam, The Netherlands|
|1998||ixth Australian Contemporary Art Fair, Melbourne|
|1999||Blue Chip 11: The Collectors' Exhibition Niagara Galleries, Melbourne|
|2000||Not the done thing! Niagara Galleries, Sydney|
|2001||Spirituality and Australian Aboriginal Art, Madrid and touring regional Spain|
|2001||Mbantua Gallery, Alice Springs, N.T|
|2002||Mbantua Gallery USA exhibitions: Art and Soul Gallery, Nashville, TN; 'The Cove Gallery' Portland, OR; Urban Wine Works, Portland, OR; Mary's Woods, Portland, OR|
|2003||Mbantua Gallery USA exhibitions: New City Merchants, Knoxville, TN; Art and Soul Gallery, Nashville, TN; 'The Cove Gallery' Portland, OR; Mary's Woods, Portland, OR; Contemporary Aboriginal Art Event, Umpqua Bank in conjunction with Mbantua Gallery, Portland, Oregon USA; Art from the Dreamtime, Portland Art Museum, Portland OR|
|2004||'Last of the 20th Century', Mbantua Gallery, Alice Springs|
|2004||Mbantua Gallery USA exhibition; Nashville, Tennessee|
|2004||Evolution of Utopia, Mbantua Gallery Cultural Museum, Alice Springs|
|2005||'Small Wonders' (A collection of 1'x1' and 1'x1½' paintings), Mbantua Gallery, Alice Springs, N.T|
|2006||Camp Scenes and Utopia Life, Mbantua Gallery, Alice Springs|
|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|
|2006||Finalist The 23rd Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award (NATSIAA)|
|2010||Finalist The 27th Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award (NATSIAA)|
|Boulter, M.||The Art of Utopia,Craftsman House Press, 1991, NSW|
|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<|
Angelina paints the story of the Atham-areny. The site for this story belongs to the hilly country near Willowra on Angelina's traditional country north east of Alice Springs.
Atham-areny comes from the Anmatyerre words atham (meaning no fire) and areny (meaning belonging to).
'Akely-amperl arrkay-renem atham-areny-rnem. Ahernel anewaneyel akely-akely' The atham-areny are very little spirits of the country. They are colourless and live in the ground [or places] where the fire does not belong.
Angelina tells the story that these creatures can be known to come out of their homes and steal and hide the babies in the community. It is important that they stay by the fire. If the atham-areny does touch you, you will feel sick. If this happens a witch doctor must come to sing and dance the sickness out.
Angelina illustrates aboriginal women and children covered in Awelye (body paint designs), prepared to sing and dance with the witch doctor to help remove any sickness related to the atham-areny. Linear work in the background illustrates Awelye and a variety of plants that are found in Angelina's country, Ahalpere.