Michelle Possum Nungurrayi - GRANDMOTHER'S COUNTRY MP1628

Michelle Possum Nungurrayi Grandmother’s Country Australian Aboriginal Art Painting on canvas MP1628


The provenance of works of fine art is of great significance, especially to their owner. There are a number of reasons why painting provenance is important. A good provenance increases the value of a painting, and establishing provenance may help confirm the date, artist and the subject of a painting. It may confirm whether a painting is genuinely of the period it seems to date from. Documented evidence of provenance for an object can help to establish that it has not been altered and is not a forgery, a reproduction, stolen or looted art. Provenance helps assign the work to a known artist, and a documented history can be of use in helping to prove ownership.

All artworks of our Gallery come with a AAA Gallery Certificate of Authenticity and where possible, working photographs and/or a photo of the artist with the artwork and/or video of an artist in working process of creating an artwork.


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Artist: Michelle Possum Nungurrayi
Skin Name: Nungarrayi
Born: c.1970
Region: Mt. Allan, Northern Territory
Language: Anmatyerre
Subjects and Themes(Dreaming): Bush tucker, Awelye, Bush medicine, Kangaroo.



Michelle Possum Nungarrayi is the younger daughter of Lurritja woman, Emily Nakamarra Possum, and the famous Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri, renowned for being one of the founding artists of the contemporary indigenous art

movement, and for being the artist whose work has achieved the highest price at auction for an Australian Indigenous artwork. Her life began in the remote Mt. Allan, to the north west of Alice Springs, in Australia's Northern Territory. She married Heath Ramzan Tjangala, and has had six children. Michelle, her sister Gabriella and brother Lionel, were taught to paint by their highly talented father. She began painting at a young age in the mid 1980's and to this day, carries on the traditional stories, style and much of the iconography of Clifford Possum, albeit with stronger colour and the addition of women's ceremonial stories and other women's dreamings. These include stories from Yuelamu, her home country of Mt Allan, and are often aerial maps of her country, describing the various important sites she knows well. The traditional and semi figurative iconography she inherited from her father features strongly in her works. She also paints the seven sisters, bush tucker stories including bush coconut, seed, and exploding seed dreamings, fire dreamings, worm dreamings, goanna dreaming, and grandmother's country - many of which she works together in a riot of complex interwoven design. Her works are popular because once the iconography is understood, they make fascinating 'pictures' to the westerner, populated not only with plants, food items, waterholes etc. but also with people sitting in the landscape, the men with hunting implements and the women with digging sticks and coolamons. Her first exhibition was a family group show in Brisbane, 1987, where her works were exhibited alongside those of her Father and sister Gabriella Michelle currently paints in Melbourne, where her family now live, often painting in the company of her sister Gabriella.


  • 1982 Cooee Aboriginal Art Gallery, Sydney
  • 1987 Possum Family Paintings, Brisbane
  • 1995 Desert Dreaming
  • 2005 Aboriginal and Oceanic Art Fair, Sydney
  • 2005 Christmas Show, Australian Contemporary Aboriginal Art
  • 2006 Modern Masters from an Ancient Culture
  • 2006 Opening Exhibition, Aranda Art Alice Springs
  • 2006 Aboriginal and Oceanic Art Fair, Sydney
  • 2006 Shanghai Art Fair, China
  • 2007 Shanghai Art Fair, China
  • 2007 Hong Kong Cricket Club
  • 2007 London Art Fair, UK


  • 2009 Michelle Possum, Australia Dreaming Art, Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia
  • 2009 Generations, Aranda Art Gallery, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


  • Aranda Collection
  • Knight Family Collection
  • Corrigan Collection

Michelle’s paintings predominantly depict a series of Dreaming stories passed down to her from her paternal grandmother” Long Rose Nungala” and other senior women. Dotting is extensively used throughout her work to showcase the topography of the country. She has painted the land and activity of her Grandmother's Gold Country near Mount Allen, Northern Territory. The painting depicts women (U shapes) collecting bush food in abundance in the desert landscape. The painting represents an important place for the artist and her family, with waterholes, meeting places, changing vegetation and a variety of bush foods including plants and animals which are an important food source for Aboriginal people.


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