Gabriella Possum Nungurrayi
Gabriella Possum Nungurrayi, b. 1967 at Mt Allan, the oldest daughter of Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri, paints the traditional stories of her Country
Date of Birth
Place of Birth
Mt Allan, Northern Territory
Alice Springs, Northern Territory
Who is Gabriella Possum Nungurrayi?
Gabriella Possum Nungurray is an Australian Aboriginal artist. She is an Anmatyerre speaker born at Mt Allan in 1967.
Gabriella is the eldest daughter of Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri, one of the most famous of the founding group of painters who worked at Papunya during the 1970s and 1980s. Taught by her father, Gabriella began painting at an early age.
She won her first award in 1983 at the Alice Springs Art Prize.
What are Gabriella’s themes and colour palette?
Gabriella’s colours are inspired by the dramatic colours of her central desert homelands. Her medium is acrylic on canvas.
Working with traditional stories Gabriella, like other younger central desert artists, has absorbed the technical skills of her elders while bringing her own inventiveness to her stories in her unique way.
Her Dreamings have been handed down through countless generations of ancestors:
- Women’s Ceremonies
- Seven Sisters
- Bush Tucker Black Seed
- Bush Coconut
- Serpent Dreamings
The Seven Sisters Dreaming was inherited by Gabriella from her mother and grandmother and given to her by her father. This story takes place at ‘Twenty Mile’ located near Napperby Creek in the Northern Territory.
The Seven Sisters travelled over a vast expanse of country, until they realised that they were being followed by a man called Wati-Nyiru who was a Tjakamarra man. He was an evil person who wanted to seduce the sisters and have ownership of them. They tried to hide from the man in caves. However, the man began disguising himself as many different objects to deceive them. With little hope of relief from the man, the seven sisters escaped through a fire at Kurlunyalimpa to the Milky Way where they became the stars of the Pleiades in the Constellation Taurus. There they were safe and they forever watch out over all women on earth. Wati-Nyiru followed them to the heavens and became the star Orion, still forever unable to get near them as they move across the night sky.
Gabriella’s story Grandmother’s Country – Bush Tucker depicts the artist’s grandmother’s country near Mt Allan, or Yuelamu, in the Northern Territory. This is an important place for the artist and her family. There is bush food in abundance and women are shown collecting foods on these canvases. They depict waterholes and meeting places and many types of bush food such as berries, yams and honey ants. Gabriella’s paintings have been exhibited widely in Australia and overseas, and she is represented in major private and public gallery collections.
Aboriginal Art Status
2020 Gabriella’s artwork was chosen to be exhibited at the Australian Pavilion at the Dubai Expo 2020
2016 Vivid Projection Programme, Opera House, Sydney
2014 Art Tram, Melbourne Festival, Melbourne
2008 Chelsea Flower Show, London – Gold Medal
1993 Alice Springs Art Prize, Record Cover for ‘Coloured Stone’
1991 Professional Development Grant, Aboriginal Arts Unit, Australia Council for the Arts
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin
Flinders University Art Museum, Adelaide
Holmes A Court Collection, Perth
Kelton Foundation Collection, Santa Monica
Winterthur Collection, Switzerland
Corrigan Collection, Sydney
HRH Queen Elizabeth, UK
Richard Branson Collection, UK
Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs
Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide
Maroondah City Council Art Collection, Maroondah, VIC
Hank Ebes Collection, Melbourne
Gillian & Watson McAllister Collection, Sydney
2016 From the Sand to the Sails, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
2010 Gabriella Possum Artist in Residence, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
2009 The Best of Gabriella Possum, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
2021 Gillian and Watson McAllister Collection, Cooee Art, Bondi
2021 The Seven Sisters and the Night Sky, Art Mob, Hobart
2020 Family Business – The Art of the Possum Family, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
2020 The Continuing Legacy of Clifford Possum: Clifford, Gabriella, Michelle, Coo-ee Art Gallery, Sydney
2019 Beyond Time, Australian Aboriginal Art, Booker Lowe Gallery, Houston, Texas
2019 Of Earth and Fire, Exhibition of Maroondah City Council Art Collection, Maroondah VIC
2019 Seven Sisters, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney NSW
2019 International Women’s Day, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney NSW
2019 Landscape Colours, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA
2018 Beyond the Veil, Olsen Gruin, New York
2017 Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA
2016 From the Sand to the Sails, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney NSW
2015 Gabriella Possum Nungurrayi & Michelle Possum Nungurrayi, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle
2009 The Best of Gabriella Possum, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney NSW
2009 Starry Starry Nights, Framed Gallery, Darwin NT
2009 Generations, Aranda Aboriginal Art, Melbourne VIC
2008 Chelsea Flower Show, London
2008 Art Aborigene Australien, Paris
2007 London Art Fair, London UK
2007 Shanghai Art Fair, Shanghai China
2006 Shanghai Art Fair, Shanghai China
2001 Mia Mia Gallery, Melbourne VIC
2006 Dreaming Their Way, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington DC USA
2000 United Nations Building, New York
1998 Sztuka Aborygenow – (Art of the Aborigines), Warsaw Poland
1999 Aboriginal Art Galleries of Australia, Melbourne VIC
1999 Flinders University Art Museum, Adelaide SA
1997 The Milky Way Dreaming, Rebecca Hossack Gallery, London
1992 Washington DC USA
1993 London UK
1993 Berne Switzerland
1992 Coo-ee Gallery, Sydney NSW
1988 Aboriginal ‘Dot’ Painting, Melbourne VIC