Mavis Ngallametta: Show Me the Way to Go Home



ISBN: 9781925922004 Category:

By (artist) Brice Marden, By (artist) Gina Allain


Mavis Ngallametta was a senior Cape York artist renowned for her large-scale paintings – artworks in which she mastered figurative scenes combined with meandering dotted patterns over bold ochre fields, and where she wove together a multitude of perspectives and stories in a glimmering fabric.

Mavis Ngallametta’s career was very short, but highly influential – she began to paint in 2008, and only created her large-scale canvases, for which she is nationally renowned, from 2010. Show Me the Way to Go Home is the first substantial publication on the work of Mrs Ngallametta, who passed away earlier this year. It will illustrate the artist’s richly detailed, large-scale paintings from a selection of major public and private collections from around Australia, and feature photographs of the artist and her country.

One of Queensland’s most esteemed artists, Mavis Ngallametta is remembered for her rich legacy to her community and to art and culture nationally. She won the General Painting category of the 2013 Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards. In 2018, the Australia Council for the Arts honoured her with a prestigious Red Ochre Award for lifetime achievement.

Published for ‘Mavis Ngallametta: Show Me the Way to Go Home’, an exhibition organised by the
Queensland Art Gallery I Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) and held at QAG, Brisbane, Australia, 21
March – 2 August 2020.

Additional information

Weight 1086 g
Dimensions 26.7 x 26.6 cm
Publisher name Queensland Art Gallery
Publication date 1 May 2020
Number of pages 144
Format Hardback
Dimensions 26.7 x 26.6 cm
Weight 1086 g

Bruce Johnson McLean is Assistant Director, Indigenous Engagement, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. He was formerly Curator, Indigenous Australian Art, Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (to November 2019), and the curator of 'Mrs Waal-Waal Ngallametta: Show Me the Way to Go Home'. He is a member of the Wierdi (Wirri) people of the Birri Gubba and Wribpid Nations of Central Queensland. His exhibition projects include 'Tony Albert: Visible' (QAG, 2018), 'Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda Sally Gabori: Dulka Warngiid - Land of All' (QAG, 2016), 'GOMA Q: Contemporary Queensland Art' (GOMA, 2015, with Peter McKay and Chris Saines), and 'My Country, I Still Call Australia Home: Contemporary Art from Black Australia' (GOMA, 2013).

Gina Allain is an artist and artistic advisor, who, from 2008 to 2019, was Mavis Ngallametta's artistic advisor and personal assistant. Since 2008, Gina has been involved in numerous visual art (painting, weaving and ghost net) and professional development projects with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. In 2014-15, she co-curated 'Oonyawa: From Museum Back to Country' for the South Australian Museum in Adelaide, and in 2019, she curated 'Painted Stories: Linking Country, Art and Culture for Language Revival' for the Hahndorf Academy, South Australia.