Songlines Aboriginal Art, Utopia Paintings, The Kngale Sisters, pg. 13
     
 



 
 


The Kngale sisters are a rising force in Utopia painting. The three sisters share the same Dreaming, (Bush Plum) but paint it in their own distinctive styles. Veterans of the Utopia batik movement in the eighties, the sisters have all developed complexly layered overdotting techniques creating atmospheric surfaces of light, depth, and movement, but with distinctly different results. Their work invites comparisons to Utopia masters such as Emily Kngwarreye and Kathleen Petyarre yet is fresh and exciting in its own right.

 


 


Polly Kngale, Utopia c. 1989

 

 
 
Polly is the oldest sister (somewhere around 70) and her work is the most sensual and loose of the three, echoing Emily's magical touch in her layering of color to create a rich atmospheric surface, which is very alive, suffused with color and movement, and redolent of the natural cycles of her totem — the bush plum. Polly has a delicacy of touch reminiscent of the very fine batik work the women were doing there in the 80’s. He's is very much the work of an older woman, that magic in the blending of underdotting and overdotting, loose, natural, and sensual.

Kathleen Kngale’s work is subtler and more refined than her older sisters in that there is least as much hidden as is revealed in a surface reading of her paintings. Her beautifully dotted underpainting often consists of yellows, reds, purples, but she then often applies a thick layer of overdotting which almost obscures the underdotting altogether or fuses with it to create a surface of beautiful fragile color softer than the original underdotting, red and white fusing into a translucent pink, yellow and white becoming creamy soft yellow, purple and white fusing into lavender all of which indicate the bush plum, in various stages of ripening. And then at times in the surface of the same canvas the overdotting will become quite sparse, allowing you to see down through the surface of the painting into a field of negative space, giving the work a sense of depth and implying topographical aspects of landscape such as claypans, soakages, and clusters of vegetation.

Angeline is the youngest of the three sisters, at around 50. She was the wife of the now deceased Louie Pwerle. All three women paint the same story, Bush Plum Dreaming, using colored dots to represent the various phases of the fruits ripening to maturity as underpainting, and a milky white overdotting to create translucency and depth, but all three sisters handle this approach in very different ways. As Angeline is the youngest she manages to work in the of tightest style of the three, with well thought out optical effects, rather than the loose more naturalistic style of her older sisters. Her palate has a more restricted monochrome feel, like that of Kathleen Petyarre.

 
 CLICK ON PAINTINGS FOR DREAMINGS AND HIGH RES VIEW
 

 

 

 
28. (TVU 91)
Bush Plum Dreaming
Polly Kngale
Acrylic on Canvas
59 x 35 inches
150 x 89 cms
2004
For Sale

 

29. (TVU 99)
Bush Plum Dreaming
Polly Kngale
Acrylic on Canvas
60 x 48 inches
152 x 122 cms
2004

 
30. (TVU 96)
Bush Plum Dreaming
Angeline Kngale
Acrylic on Canvas
36 x 36 inches
92 x 92 cms
2004
31. (TVU 94)
Bush Plum Dreaming
Kathleen Kngale
Acrylic on Canvas
36 x 36 inches
92 x 92 cms
2004
For Sale
 

All Utopia paintings indicated with green dots For Sale are currently for sale. Prices and photos can be obtained by contacting Songlines Aboriginal Art Gallery via e-mail, please be specific and mention the name and inventory code of the paintings. We particularly welcome phone calls in the U.S. at (415-871-5901). -- David Betz, Curator