Judy Greenie Ngwarai

(Australia 1962 – )

Aniltji Outstation (Boundary Bore), Central Desert region
Language group
Anmatyerre, Central Desert region


Not on display
Further information

Judy Greenie Ngwarray was born in 1962 and was a teenager when she began working with batik on silk, alongside her mother and other family members as part of the Utopia women's batik group that was formed in 1978. This group of artists had been introduced to this medium during a series of adult education workshops and immediately responded to the freedom of expression they could achieve though this work. Batik can be a difficult process and being able to produce quality works such as this in remote communities can be a trying process with the silks being boiled over camp fires to remove the wax and trees or rough clothes lines being constructed to dry the works.

Julia Murray, former coordinator of the Utopia Women's Batik Group recounts that it was not art in isolation, but rather a shared experience that began as an educational activity, without the pressure to produce any particular design or quantity. This relaxed environment, in combination with the aesthetics of Anmatyerr body painting, led to the freedom of line that characterises Utopia batik practice.

'Untitled' 2007 by Judy Greenie Ngwarray epitomizes this freedom of expression. This exceptional work highlights the spontaneity of batik practice within the community, with vibrant pink and red dyes applied in a gestural and unhindered manner, creating an undulating surface reminiscent of the shifting sandhills that dominate the Utopia region.

Place of origin
Utopia, Northern Territory, Australia
Cultural origin
batik on silk
110.0 x 201.0 cm
Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.

Purchased with funds provided by the Aboriginal Collection Benefactors' Group 2013
Accession number
© Judy Greenie Ngwarai