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Old Masters: Australia's great bark artists

Caution: This website includes images and names of deceased people that may cause distress to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Bardayal Nadjamerrek
Bardayal Nadjamerrek. Photographer unknown.


Mok clan, Kundedjnjenghmi language, Duwa moiety
about 1926–2009

Bardayal was taught the art of rock painting by his father, Yanjorluk, in the 1940s. He worked in the mining and pastoral industries, and was also known by the nickname ‘Lofty’ due to his great height. In the late 1960s, Bardayal turned his hand to creating public paintings. In 1999 he won the Work on Paper Award at the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards. In 2004 he received the Order of Australia in recognition of his contribution to Australian culture through his art and rock art research. Bardayal was selected for the first National Indigenous Art Triennial, Culture Warriors, at the National Gallery of Australia in 2007. In the year after Bardayal passed away, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, honoured the artist with a major retrospective exhibition.

Paintings in the exhibition

Click on the images below to see a larger version and more information, including dimensions. Please note these images are not to scale.

All these bark paintings are part of the National Museum of Australia’s collection. © the artist or the artist’s estate, licensed by Aboriginal Artists Agency 2013, unless otherwise specified. These images must not be reproduced in any form without permission.


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