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Eastern Arnhem Land

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.


Eastern Arnhem Land

The Yolŋu-speaking artists of the region are renowned for their engagement with the wider community. In the early 1960s many of the artists shown here collaborated in painting the monumental Yirrkala Church Panels, which were placed either side of the altar of the local mission church as an act of affirmation of traditional culture. They also painted the Bark Petitions that were presented to Parliament as deeds of title to their land in the first Land Rights case 50 years ago. Narritjin Maymuru was one of the chief protagonists in both events and is the focus of this section.

Explore the major themes


Narritjin

Narritjin

 

Marika family

Marika family

 

Makassar

Makassar

 

Gumana and Yunupiŋu

Gumana and Yunupiŋu

 

Mithinarri

Mithinarri

 

Mutitjpuy

Mutitjpuy

 

Abstraction

Abstraction

 


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.