You are in site section: Exhibitions


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.


Mutitjpuy Munuŋgurr had the authority to paint both Dhuwa and certain Yirritja themes. The Fire Dreaming at Yathikpa depicts the Yirritja Fire Dreaming site that is out to sea on Blue Mud Bay. The scene is reinterpreted abstractly by the patterns of linked diamonds: the red diamonds representing fire; the red crosshatching, sparks; the black diamonds, charcoal; and the white, ashes. The grid structure in The Djan’kawu in Djapu Clan Territory with Mäna the Shark shows Mäna far inland in Djapu country, created by the Dhuwa ancestors, the Djan’kawu.

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.