Born: c. 1932 Kumilnga, Pollock Hills W.A. Language Group: Pintupi
Naata Nungurrayi is a respected senior elder and is recognised as a highly important artist in the Kintore women's artist movement. Nungurrayi was born c.1932 at the rockhole site of Kumil, west of the Pollock Hills in Western Australia. She lives now in Walungurru with her sister Nancy Nungurrayi Naata, also from the Pintupi Language group. Nungurrayi and her family came to Papunya from the desert bush in April 1962, and were brought into a camp by Jeremy Long, who was operating patrols out of Darwin. When Walungurru (Kintore) was established as the main Pintupi settlement in early 1982, Nungurrayi moved there with Pintupi people from her camp and from the west camp at Papunya.
She started painting in 1994 at Kintore along with other women artists from the Haasts Bluff community, and began working on commissioned paintings for Papunya Tula artists in 1996.
Nungurrayi is a full blood sister to Nancy Nungurrayi Ross, sister to George (Hairbrush) Tjungurrayi, and mother to Kenny Williams Tjampitjinpa; all highly respected artists in their own right.
The Dreamings that Nungurrayi paints depict sacred women's sites and women's ceremonies in the Kintore and Kiwirrkura region. As an elder and through her lineage, Naata is one of the few women to have permission to paint certain features of these Dreamings. She has developed a distinctive style, quite different to the men of the region.
Her paintings are sought by most major Australian galleries and collectors worldwide. Nungurrayi's artworks have been entered into the 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards; a prestigious Award established in 1984 to recognise the important contribution made by Indigenous artists. Nungurrayi was named among the top 50 of 'Australia's Most Collectable Artists' in Australian Art Collector January - March 2004.
Collections Art Gallery of New South Wales National Gallery of Victoria Museums & Act Galleries of the Northern Territory Australian institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Artbank The Holmes a Court Collection Steve Martin’s Private Collection