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Nyangulya Katie Nalgood

Spinifex Hill Studios

‘I was born in Liveringa Station in the Kimberley – you come to the Myroodah river crossing then you’re there.  I grew up there and went to school at Camballin, then I went to Derby High School and then to boarding school at Sir James Mitchell in Mount Lawley.

I came back to Camballin to finish my school there.  I been coming up and back, Kimberley to Port Hedland.  I like coming here to [do] art: keeping busy, better than sitting at home. Painting and relaxing, that’s why I like coming here.

Birds are the first things we see, you know, when we wake up. See and hear. Birds are like roosters to us, they wake us up in the mornings. And when the sun goes down they go to sleep and we go to sleep. You know us old people start and finish the day with the birds. That’s everyday life between birds and humans, you know. That’s what I think about anyway.’

Nyangulya Katie Nalgood has a strong affinity with birds, the diverse feathered creatures filling her personal history as well as cultural life. They are as much a part of her Country as she is, and their songs are the sound memories of her home. Nalgood started out painting only the birds native to her Country in Western Australia’s Pilbara region, and collaborated with family members to help her sketch out their forms. Her technical skill has since become more refined, and she now works independently. Her imagination has also expanded, and she looks to birds from across Western Australia, finding inspiration in their different colours, forms, and personalities.

Language group: Walmajarri