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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.


Kurulk clan, Kuninjku language, Duwa moiety
born 1952

John Mawurndjul
John Mawurndjul. Photo: Erica Koch.

Mawurndjul is a renowned international artist with several art prizes to his credit, including the 2003 Clemenger Contemporary Art Award. In 2005 he joined a handful of Australian artists to have had a retrospective exhibition in Europe, at the Museum der Kulturen in Basel. Mawurndjul designed a ceiling piece for the Musée du quai Branly, Paris, which opened in 2006. His work has featured in several major exhibitions, including: Magiciens de la Terre, Paris, in 1989; Aratjara, which toured Europe in 1993–94; World of Dreamings at the State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, in 2000; and the first National Indigenous Art Triennial, Culture Warriors, at the National Gallery of Australia in 2007.

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.

  • Rainbow Serpent
    John Mawurndjul, Rainbow Serpent

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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