Michelle Possum Nungurrayi
Michelle Possum Nungurrayi, b. 1970 Mt Allan, Anmatyerre artist, sister to Gabriella Possum, paints Women’s Dreamings from her clan homelands.
Date of Birth
Place of Birth
Mt. Allan, Northern Territory
Alice Springs, Northern Territory
Anmatyerre artist Michelle Possum Nungurrayi was born in 1970 at Mt Allan, a station community about 250 kms to the north west of Alice Springs. Michelle comes from a well-established artistic family. She is the younger sister of artist Gabriella Possum and their father, Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri (1932-2002), was one of the founding figures of the Desert Art movement at Papunya.
Michelle, along with her sister Gabriella and brother Lionel, was taught to paint by her famous father. Michelle began painting at an early age and produced her first canvases while still a teenager in the mid 1980s.
Themes in Art
The Dreamings that Michelle Possum paints come from Yuelamu on her home country at Mt Allan. These include the stories of Seven Sisters Dreaming, Bush Tucker stories including Seed Dreaming, Bush Coconut, Fire Dreaming, Goanna Dreaming, and Grandmother’s Country, many of which she combines together in complex interwoven designs.
Mainly depicting the overview of maps of traditional Country from her family lands, Michelle describes the many important cultural sites she knows well. Her paintings have gained wide popularity partly due to the fact that as we come to understand the iconography, the paintings make fascinating narratives for a western audience. They are populated not only with plants and food resources and waterholes, but also with people sitting in the landscape – men with hunting implements and women with digging sticks and coolamons.
The first exhibition for Michelle Possum was a family group show in 1987 in Brisbane, and her works were exhibited alongside those of her father and her sister Gabriella. Michelle currently paints in Melbourne, where her family now lives, and she often paints in the company of her sister. Aboriginal art status – Established artist.
1987 Possum Family Paintings, Brisbane QLD
1995 Desert Dreaming
2005 Aboriginal and Oceanic Art Fair, Sydney NSW
2005 Christmas Show, Australian Contemporary Aboriginal Art
2006 Modern Masters from an Ancient Culture
2006 Opening Exhibition, Aranda Art Alice Springs NT
2006 Aboriginal and Oceanic Art Fair, Sydney NSW
2006 Shanghai Art Fair, China
2007 Shanghai Art Fair, China
2007 Hong Kong Cricket Club
2007 London Art Fair, London UK
2015 Gabriella Possum Nungurrayi & Michelle Possum Nungurrayi, Japingka Gallery, Perth
2016 From the Sand to the Sails | a Possum Family Exhibition
2019 Landscape Colours, Japingka Gallery, Perth
2019 International Women’s Day, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
2020 The Continuing Legacy of Clifford Possum: Clifford, Gabriella, Michelle, Coo-ee Art Gallery, Sydney
2020 Family Business – The Art of the Possum Family, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
2020 Colours of Spring, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney2022 Connection, National Museum of Australia, Canberra
2009 Michelle Possum, Australia Dreaming Art, Fitzroy VIC
2009 Generations, Aranda Art Gallery, Melbourne VIC
2015 Gabriella & Michelle Possum Nungarrayi, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA
2017 Gabriella & Michelle Possum Nungarrayi, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA
Aranda Collection, Melbourne
Knight Family Collection, Melbourne
Pat Corrigan Collection, Brisbane