Nyangulya Katie Nalgood is an artist and Walmajarri elder. Born in 1957 at Liveringa Station in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, Nalgood went to boarding school in Perth then she went to Camballin remote school. When she was older and met her husband she moved with him to Port Hedland, which was his home.
Nalgood has always enjoyed painting, but it was her late husband, Mr Nyaparu (William) Gardiner, also an artist, who introduced her to Spinifex Hill Studio in South Hedland. This is where she started painting birds and has done so ever since.
Nyangulya Katie Nalgood has a deep connection to birds. Rather than relying on clocks, her days align with nature and the sounds of birds, not alarms. When she was a school student, Nalgood painted pictures of houses, trees, and animals, now she paints birds. When she started painting birds Nalgood worked with her children, who would help her draw the birds and give her advice. These days she works on her own, painting birds from her Country and anywhere else she goes.
Birds are the first things we see, you know, when we wake up. Birds are like roosters to us, they wake us up in the morning. And when the sun goes down they go to sleep and we go to sleep.
Year 3 students from Immanuel Primary School have been investigating the work of Nyangulya Katie Nalgood. To get started, the students were introduced to Katie with two short artist videos available online, Tracks We Share and Katie Nalgood.
Students looked at images of Katie's paintings and discussed what we saw, the elements of art used, the subject, style of painting, level of detail and emphasis on colour. Students chose an image of a bird from around the world for reference and then used plasticine on thick gloss card to ‘paint’ the image. Students focused on shape and colour, adding texture using skewers. We also investigated how the plasticine changed form and pliability, once we had warmed the plasticine in our hands. (students are looking at how temperature affects materials in class). We also had a wonderful time naming birds and finding out where they live around the world.
- Sharon Lynch, Visual Arts Coordinator
Listen to A Littler Yarn with Nyangulya Katie Nalgood by ABC Kids Listen