Artwork by Katjarra ButlerArtwork by Katjarra Butler

Ngamurru – Katjarra Butler


55.9cm x 91.4cm: acrylic on canvas

Artwork is sold unstretched

Out of stock


55.9cm x 91.4cm: acrylic on canvas

Artwork is sold unstretched

Katjarra Butler

Written by Elizabeth Marrkilyi (Katjarra’s neice). Katjarra was born quite close to Kulkurta and Purrungu at a place called Kuun. Kuun is the name of the waterhole there. Kuun is also the name of the yellow ochre. There is also a place very close to Kuun that Katjarra refers to as her home and is one of her Tjukurrpa or dreaming which she paints. It is called Kuurmankutja. This place is home to the two Kuniya (python) dreaming. The other dreaming that she paints is Marrapirnti. Her father was Lilyiwara Tjungurrayi and her mother was Mangkatji Nangala. Katjarra had an older sister Nguya Napaltjarri and younger brother Peter Tjanpaltjarri, now both deceased. . Katjarra lived with her parents, sibblings and immediate family in the bush as a child, teenager and young married woman. She lived with her family and later with her husband in the country to the west of Tjukurla in the Kulkurta area which is south of the Baron Range in Western Australia. Katjarra lived a traditional nomadic lifestyle only, travelling families within their family’s country and lived off the animals that they huntedand bush food that they collected. They collected and drank water from the rockholes, soakages, springs and claypans (waterholes). All the travelling was done on foot.


Katjarra is renowned for her wide luscious brush strokes and innovative style. Her artistic process, often involving the application of numerous layers of paint, builds a fullness and depth distinctive in her work. Katjarra combines and recombined traditional symbols in a highly contemporary rendering of Ngaanyatjarra stories, culture, and landscape.

Through an interpreter, Katjarra explains her painting. “These waterholes are of Ngamurru. Ngamurru is my home. It is not like a spring Рthe waterhole dries out after a while. At these waterholes, many women were staying here for a short while in the creation time (Dreamtime).These women were Nangala, my mothers. Another group of women, a group of Nungurrayi and Nangala were travelling to Marrpirnti/Kiwirrkura while the Nangala women were at Ngamurru. At Ngamurru the Nangala women collected, cooked and ate the bush tucker wanpurru that goes on sandhills. They then set off to the east to Papun and Ngartan.

Ngamurrunya ngaanya Kapi. Ngamurrunya ngayuku ngurra. Ngaanya wati-ngarringu Ngamurrunya Kapi pirti kutjarra. Kapi yirnta purinypa wiya. Kapituka nyinarranytja Kungka Tjurta Tjukurta, Nangala pirni ngayuku Ngunytju Ngamurrula nyinarra mapakarnu. Nyangkaya Marrapirntiku/Kiwirrkurraku Kungka Kutjupa Tjurta lipula yanangi Kungkaya Nungurrayi kamu Nangala. Ngamurrulaya Mayi talingka pakalpayinya wanpurru yurrara paara ngalkuningi. Nyaratjaya Kakarra Papunku kamu Ngartankulpi yanu.