Ngamaru Bidu

2019 John Stringer Prize finalist Ngamaru Bidu. Martu artist and elder Ngamaru creates paintings informed by and reflecting the everyday life, culture and attitudes of the Martu people. The Martu people are the Aboriginal owners and custodians of a vast area across the Great Sandy, Little Sandy and Gibson Deserts in Western Australia.

Ngamaru was born at Martilirri (Well 22 on the Canning Stock Route), the eldest of four siblings circa 1949. As a child, Ngamaru walked around with her family, moving from water source to water source dependent on the seasonal rain cycles.

Whilst walking Country, two Martu people and some whitefellas came in a Toyota motorcar, tracking and chasing the family. Though they managed to stay ahead of their pursuers for a long period, they were finally caught by the whitefellas at Parnngurr Rockhole, and from here taken to Jigalong Mission. She met her husband at Strelley Community and later moved to Warralong, Punmu and finally Parnngurr, where she lives now. Ngamaru has four children and three grandchildren.

Born c. 1949

Artwork: Ngamaru Bidu, ‘Nyurnma’, 2019, acryclic on canvas, 75.5 – 123cm.

Photos courtesy of the artist and Martumili taken by Tobias Titz

Date: July 1, 2020
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