Artist | NGARRALJA TOMMY MAY (dec)

Artist | NGARRALJA TOMMY MAY (dec)


Australian Indigenous (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) artwork by NGARRALJA TOMMY MAY of Mangkaja Artists. The title is Yangkunja Hill. [248/18] (Drawing on Metal/Acrylic Paint Spray)

NGARRALJA TOMMY MAY (dec)

Yangkunja Hill

Australian Indigenous (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) artwork by NGARRALJA TOMMY MAY of Mangkaja Artists. The title is Yangkunja Hill. [75/19] (Etching on Metal/Enamel Spray Paint)

NGARRALJA TOMMY MAY (dec)

Yangkunja Hill

Australian Indigenous (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) artwork by NGARRALJA TOMMY MAY of Mangkaja Artists. The title is Jilji and Bila. [264/16] (Etching on Metal/Acrylic Spray Paint)

NGARRALJA TOMMY MAY (dec)

Jilji and Bila

Australian Indigenous (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) artwork by NGARRALJA TOMMY MAY of Mangkaja Artists. The title is Wurna Juwal. [44/16] (Atelier Acrylic Paint on Plywood)

NGARRALJA TOMMY MAY (dec)

Wurna Juwal

Australian Indigenous (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) artwork by NGARRALJA TOMMY MAY of Mangkaja Artists. The title is Flat Country and Hills. [185/17] (Acrylic Paint and Drawing into Enamel on Metal)

NGARRALJA TOMMY MAY (dec)

Flat Country and Hills

Australian Indigenous (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) artwork by NGARRALJA TOMMY MAY of Mangkaja Artists. The title is Kulparti Soakwater. [447/18] (Acrylic Paint and Etching on Metal/Enamel Spray)

NGARRALJA TOMMY MAY (dec)

Kulparti Soakwater

Australian Indigenous (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) artwork by NGARRALJA TOMMY MAY of Mangkaja Artists. The title is Jilji and Bila. [286/19] (Etching on Metal/Acrylic Spray Paint)

NGARRALJA TOMMY MAY (dec)

Jilji and Bila

Australian Indigenous (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) artwork by NGARRALJA TOMMY MAY of Mangkaja Artists. The title is Jilji and Bila. [348/16] (Etching on Metal/Acrylic Spray Paint)

NGARRALJA TOMMY MAY (dec)

Jilji and Bila

Australian Indigenous (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) artwork by NGARRALJA TOMMY MAY of Mangkaja Artists. The title is Wurna Juwal. [11/16] (Atelier Acrylic Paint on Plywood)

NGARRALJA TOMMY MAY (dec)

Wurna Juwal

Ngarralja is a Wangkajunga/Walmajarri man, was born at Yarrnkurnja in the Great Sandy Desert. He dances and sings Kurtal, a ceremony relating to the main jila (living waterhole) in his country. He is also a painter and printmaker.

Ngarralja says of his early life: “I was big when I left my country. I was already hunting by myself. I was with my young brother and my mother. My father had passed away by this time. I know these stories and these places in my country. I paint these now. We are not allowed to paint that story for other people’s country. We will get killed or into trouble if we do this. We put that easy story, not a really hard story like law business. We can’t paint that either. I Γ―Β¬rst saw paintings in caves. I learned a lot from people, mostly my father and grandfather. I was living all around in my country, camping all around. When I paint I think about this.”

Ngarralja is uent in Wangkajunga, Walmajarri and English and writes Walmajarri. He is a founding member of the Karrayili Adult Education centre where he learnt to read and write his own language and English.

Ngarralja holds an important role for art and culture in Fitzroy Crossing. He is a former Deputy Chairman of Mangkaja Arts and former Chairman of Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Cultural Centre (KALACC) and the Association of Northern Kimberley and Arnhem Aboriginal Artists (ANKAAA). Ngarralja was also an executive for 21 years on the ANKAAA Board of Directors.

Today, Ngarralja lives with his wife and children at Mindi Rardi Community in Fitzroy Crossing.



Ngarralja is a Wangkajunga/Walmajarri man, was born at Yarrnkurnja in the Great Sandy Desert. He dances and sings Kurtal, a ceremony relating to the main jila (living waterhole) in his country. He is also a painter and printmaker.

Ngarralja says of his early life: “I was big when I left my country. I was already hunting by myself. I was with my young brother and my mother. My father had passed away by this time. I know these stories and these places in my country. I paint these now. We are not allowed to paint that story for other people’s country. We will get killed or into trouble if we do this. We put that easy story, not a really hard story like law business. We can’t paint that either. I Γ―Β¬rst saw paintings in caves. I learned a lot from people, mostly my father and grandfather. I was living all around in my country, camping all around. When I paint I think about this.”

Ngarralja is uent in Wangkajunga, Walmajarri and English and writes Walmajarri. He is a founding member of the Karrayili Adult Education centre where he learnt to read and write his own language and English.

Ngarralja holds an important role for art and culture in Fitzroy Crossing. He is a former Deputy Chairman of Mangkaja Arts and former Chairman of Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Cultural Centre (KALACC) and the Association of Northern Kimberley and Arnhem Aboriginal Artists (ANKAAA). Ngarralja was also an executive for 21 years on the ANKAAA Board of Directors.

Today, Ngarralja lives with his wife and children at Mindi Rardi Community in Fitzroy Crossing.



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