NGURRA: Home in the Ngaanyatjarra Lands

On the verandah, Ngaanyatjarra lands

13 October 2017–28 January 2018

10am - 5pm
South Australian Museum



Ngurra, in the spoken languages of the Ngaanyatjarra people of the Western Desert, translates roughly to ‘home.’ However, the term is far more complex than the definition offered by a simple translation. Ngurra means Country, camp, birthplace and belonging, but it is a term which is expansive and inclusive, it has nuance and inflection, and has collective and individual resonances depending on context. Ngurra can be where you camp for the night, or where you belong forever. Ngurra is also, always, about other people: it encompasses the relations – both historic and contemporary – between people and the places that define them.

‘NGURRA: Home in the Ngaanyatjarra Lands’ is an exhibition that challenges conventional approaches to Aboriginal art and cultural expression. This is not a show about art, but rather a show about where that art comes from, and the homelands it speaks to. Many Australians will have seen Ngaanyatjarra art, or be familiar with iconic works like the Tjanpi Grass Toyota, which won the prestigious National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award in 2005, but few could tell you where the Ngaanyatjarra Lands are. This exhibition renders that world visible, immediate, and impossible to ignore. NGURRA: Home in the Ngaanyatjarra Lands is an expression of Ngaanyatjarra life and experience, it highlights the creativity, productivity, and ingenuity of Ngaanyatjarra people, not just through their art, but through their art of living.  


Nyarapayi Giles on her verandah in Tjukurla

© Tjarlirli Artsists