Beryl Nakamarra Gorey was born in Alice Springs Hospital, the closest hospital to Yuendumu, a remote Aboriginal community 290 km north-west of Alice Springs in the NT of Australia. She was born in 1957 and at that time her parents lived in Wilora, NT, where she grew up. During her school years, she attended Santa Teresa School in Alice Springs. Santa Teresa is a regional school located 85 km south of Alice Springs. Beryl has fond memories of Wilora, which is situatied 212 kms east of Yuendumu.
After she married she moved to Yuendumu and became very active in the community by working as a volunteer in a number of important community Programs. She worked at the Old People’s Program, a program that cares for the elderly by helping them when they are sick, and being with them when they are alone or when they are frighten during storms. She worked at the Childcare Centre, the only fully operational childcare centre in an Aboriginal community. And she worked with the Womens’ Night Patrol, an initiative funded by Central Desert Shire focussing on minimising the number of children on the streets after dark and assisting to maximise the number of children attending school.
Beryl has been painting with Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation, an Aboriginal owned and governed art centre located in Yuendumu, since 2008. Initially her production of art work was sporadic because of her busy lifestyle and later health problems. It wasn’t until 2015 when she was free of obligations and feeling better that she was able to commit herself to full time painting. She paints her mother’s Mukaki Jukurrpa (Wild Plum Dreaming); Karnta Jukukrrpa (Women’s Dreaming) and Jepelyaku Jukurrpa (Bush Duck Dreaming) and her father’s Ngarlkirdi Jukurrpa (Witchetty Grub Dreaming). These Dreamings relate directly to her land, its features and the plants and animals that inhabit it and are passed down to her by her parents and their parents before them for millennia.
Besides her painting, she has lots of grandchildren who keep her occupied.