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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.

Najombolmi. Photo: Judy Opitz.



Bardmardi clan, Jawoyn–Kundedjnjenghmi language
Yirridjdja moiety
about 1895–1967

Najombolmi was a renowned rock painter as well as a bark painter, and had a reputation as a great hunter and fisherman, hence his nickname Barramundi Charlie.

Najombolmi’s rock art can be seen in Kakadu National Park: his Lightning Man Namarrkon at Anbangbang near Nourlangie rock shelter, and his image of a hunter at the Djerlandjal site near Mount Brockman.

Najombolmi also restored older rock paintings, in keeping with tradition, to retain the power of the ancestors and spirits they depict. His bark paintings were shown in Art of the Dreamtime, Tokyo, in 1966, and at the Art Gallery of South Australia in 1974.

Paintings in the exhibition

Click on the image below to see a larger version and more information, including dimensions. Please note this image is 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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