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Ngoia Pollard Napaltjarii: Water Soakages near Nyrripi

Ngoia Pollard: Water Soakages near Nyrripi

Water Soakages near Nyrripi by Ngoia Pollard Napaltjariiby Ng

This painting depicts the artist’s father’s country, which is a sacred Walpiri territory associated with narratives to the ‘water snake’.1 The oval shapes in her paintings are iconographic representations of the swamps and lakes near Nyrrripi (Talarada), north west of Mount Liebig where the artist lives. The dots represent the water drying up and the cracks in the ground forming.2  Ngoia depicts the wet and dry characteristics of the country. This region is changed with the spiritual presence of the ‘Water Snake’, which lives beneath the surface.3

This painting bears interesting connotations in terms of what country really means to our Indigenous people. The sacred meaning of the Water Snake is one that is important in the dream-time creation story. I interpret this landscape as being one that nourishes and sustains life. The water holes and lakes of the landscape were vital to the livelihoods of the Western Desert people, and in this way, the main purpose of this painting is to convey the important spiritual connotations that water had within the landscape.


1.  Kate Owens Art Gallery, 'Ngoia Pollard Napaltjarri', Accessed 28 June 2022.

2. Ibid

3. Ibid