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Debra McDonald Nangala

Debra McDonald Nangala, born in 1969 at Papunya Camp and is the grand daughter of the late Shorty Lungkata Tjungurrayi (c.1920-1987). Shorty was a Pintubi man from Lake MacDonald in the Gibson Desert, Central Australia. In 1948 he moved to Haasts Bluff and Papunya, both Debra and Shorty’s stories refer to his country of Lake MacDonald. Debra’s mother, Martha McDonald, is a highly respected Papunya Tjupi artist and sister to Linda Syddick.  

Debra is a rising star whose artwork is sought after by collectors worldwide. Her Talent is obvious, and she forms part of the next generation of artists who carrying on the stories and dreamings.

In July 2010 Debra had a highly successful artist in residence exhibition at Mulgara Gallery, Sails of the Desert, Ayers Rock, Northern Territory.


Women’s Ceremony

Debra often paints using striking color and design, depicting sacred ceremonial grounds and rock hole sites surrounded by Tali (Sand hills) in the area of the her birthplace where the young women are taught by the elders and law women.

Also depicted are body paint designs used by women and the dancing tracks used by women as they travel from one ceremonial ground to another celebrating their land and culture. Senior clan elders from each skin group gather in the two sacred ceremonial sites to teach and initiate their young women who merge together from the outer sites. The Elders teach their Dreamtime songs & culture which goes back 40,000 years. The painting also depicts traveling paths to and from Ceremonial grounds and Mungari - bush tucker sites where women collect and prepare bush tucker. The dots represent the contours & the colors of the land.