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Tom DJÄWA

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.


Djäwa
Tom Djäwa. Photo: JA Davidson.

Tom DJÄWA

Daygurrgurr clan, Gupapuyŋu language, Yirritja moiety
1905–1980

Djäwa was a senior ceremonial leader and artist who was acutely aware of the need to document Gupapuyŋu culture to ensure its continuity.

He recorded songs with the ethnomusicologist Alice Moyle and played a major role in two documentary films by Cecil Holmes: Faces in the Sun (1963) and Djalambu (1964).

From 1960 his work was included in a number of historically significant exhibitions in Australia and overseas, and he is represented in major collections in Paris and Basel, and in the Kluge-Ruhe Collection at the University of Virginia.

See our video 'The work of Tom Djäwa', with reflections on Djäwa's work by his son, Joe Gumbala.

 

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.

  • Tom Djäwa, Crabs
  • Tom Djäwa, Emu Dance

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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