Shirley Purdie: Ngalim-Ngalimbooroo Ngagenybe

The National Portrait Gallery has launched an online exhibition of Shirley Purdie’s self-portrait Ngalim-Ngalimbooroo Ngagenybe to coincide with Reconciliation Week.

In Ngalim-Ngalimbooroo Ngagenybe, meaning ‘from my women’, Purdie pays homage to the women in her family, representing herself through collective knowledge, culture and values. Acquired by the Portrait Gallery in September 2019, this non-representational self-portrait is informed by Aboriginal ways of seeing and understanding the world. Each of the 36 panels contains a story, producing a portrait that is an intricate kaleidoscope of personal history, identity and connection to country.

Shirley Purdie, Ngalim-Ngalimbooroo Ngagenybe

The expansive work occupies an entire gallery wall. Currently installed in the NPG’s main entrance gallery, this striking artwork is now also available as an online exhibition while the gallery remains closed due to COVID-19 restrictions, and is accompanied by a video of Shirley talking about her life.


National Portrait Gallery
6 June to 8 August 2020 (and online)
Australian Capital Territory