Collection: Karen Bird Ngale

Born: 1984 Alice Springs, NT
Language group: Anmatyerre
Country: Ilkawerne

Born in 1984, Karen Bird Ngale is the youngest daughter of prominent Utopian artist and senior elder for Ilkawerne country, Lindsay Bird Mpetyane. Along with other younger women, Karen is taught by the senior women the stories, songs and dances associated with ceremonies. In turn, they learn what themes they are allowed to paint.

One of Karen’s main Dreamtime stories is the Alpar (Rattail plant) Seed Story. In the olden times, women would collect this seed, crush it and use it in making damper (bread). She is the younger sister to fellow Utopian artists Rosie and Jessie Bird and resides at Akaye Soakage in the Utopia Region of Central Australia. Her paintings are Dreamtime stories associated with Awelye (women’s ceremonies) and Alpar (rat tail plant, bush medicine plant).