Polly Ngale is a senior artist of the Anmatyerre and Alyawarre language groups of Central Australia.
Polly Ngale was born around 1940 and lives at the Boundary Bore community on the Utopia homelands. Polly is one of three famous artist sisters whose works is distinctive amongst the uniquely broad sweep of artists who work on the Utopia homelands. The sisters – Kathleen Ngale, Angeline Pwerle Ngale and Polly Ngale – create the multi-layered Dreaming stories of their inheritance.
Polly Ngale was part of the great experiment at Utopia, where a large group of women worked on the batik project during the 1970s and 1980s. The aim was to build sustainable craft industry to support the traditional owners’ claims for Native Title over their lands. Over this ten year period the artists developed great skill and respect for their batik work, which reflected the custodial stories and ceremonies belonging to the group.
In 1988 the project extended to include painting on canvas. This proved to be a major turning point, as all the skills and techniques learned in the batik project, created a fresh new way to approach painting. These first paintings were to establish the careers of some of the great painters of Central Australia.
Polly Ngale participated in the inaugural exhibition of these works held in Sydney in 1989. During the 1990s Polly Ngale produced more artworks but it was from 1999 onwards that her paintings were most widely exhibited. Aboriginal art status – Established artist.