Nyangulya Katie Nalgood

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.

Born: Circa 1946
Homeland: Jigalong, Western Australia
Region: Western Australia

Nyangulya Katie Nalgood is a Walmajarri elder who has spent much of her life moving between Looma in the Kimberley region and South Hedland in the Pilbara region.   In the late 1970s she married Nyaparu (William) Gardiner (1943-2018) and their six children have grown up with strong Pilbara and Kimberley connections.  Over the past four years, Nalgood has matched the strong creative application of her late husband and has developed and refined her naïve landscapes and fauna studies.  Her most notable forays into the contemporary Australian arts landscape have been her bird collaborations with her children Zenith and Crystal Gardiner, which last year captured audiences at the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair and TARNANTHI Art Fair, both major events on the Australian arts industry calendar.  2018 was an expansive year for Nalgood with her first solo exhibition Jirrugu Wanti (All the Birds) at Galerie Zadra in Luxembourg, and professional trips to Perth, Adelaide, Darwin and Alice Springs.

As her artist statement attests, Nyangulya has a strong affinity with birds, so much so that she has begun the task of documenting the birds of Western Australia. These diverse feathered creatures fill 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.