Mary Ross Nabarula

Language: Warlpiri
Region: Willowra, N.T.

Mary Ross Nabarula was born in 1956 at the Aboriginal community of Willowra, approximately 300 kilometres, northwest of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory.  Mary was taught how to paint by her father (now deceased) and moved to Alice Springs in late 1999.


Mary’s Dreamings include My CountryBush Damper SeedWallaby and Water Dreaming.  Typically working in a monochromatic palette, Mary uses the repetition of fine dots to depict various flora, food sources and geological aspects of her country.


In her paintings, the waterholes around which the damper seed grows are represented by the roundels.  These waterholes have water coursing to them from a central water hole.  The damper seeds are depicted by the delicate white dotting.  The women harvest the damper seed and grind it up to make bush damper (a type of bread).

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