Lily Nungarrayi Hargraves

lily nungarrayi hargraves

Nungarrayi loved to paint and loved her culture. She was driven to record and preserve cultural knowledge and traditions, knowing she was fighting against the power of time and the new impeding culture. Nungarrayi loved colour and expression. In her later years her style changed slightly showing more freedom and use of colour, while years of experience with brushes show skilled execution and technique. Nungarrayi produced some truly stunning work with heavy bold confident brush work while manipulating a broad range of colour. This artist’s depth of character and life experience is reflected in her work.

Nungarrayi was also known as Maggie Jurrah/Hargraves. Towards the end she preferred to be known as Lily Jurrah. Nungarrayi was one of the old desert walkers born in the Tanami Desert in her country near Jilla or Chilla Well. She was a senior law woman, highly respected in Lajamanu. For many years she taught children Warlpiri language and culture in the school bilingual education program.  Nungarrayi had 4 children 2 of whom are still alive.  Her sister had 7 children.  Nungarrayi was mother to these as well.  3 of this group were still alive in 2018.  Nungarrayi was co wife with her sister so they raised their children together.

Nungarrayi's art is held in a number of major collections, and she has been widely exhibited both in Australia and overseas, including France, Brazil and the USA. In 2009 and 2014 Nungarrayi was a finalist, highly commended in the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards.

In 2014 her work was highly commended in the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards.

Born 1925c - 2018