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Alardju clan, Iwaidja language, Duwa moiety

Paddy Compass Namatbara
Paddy Compass Namatbara. Photo: JA Davidson

1890–1973

Namatbara was one of the group of artists on Minjilang (Croker Island) during the 1960s that included Yirawala, Jimmy Midjawmidjaw  (1897–about 1985) and January Nangunyari Namiridali. Their work was collected by Dorothy Bennett, Karel Kupka, and Ronald and Catherine Berndt, who commissioned images of sorcery and magic. Paintings of this type had been banned by the missionaries, but they represent an important aspect of the art styles of western Arnhem Land.

Namatbara’s paintings are held in several major public collections in Australia, and in collections in Paris and Geneva, and at the University of Virginia.

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