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Bark Painting of Kangaroo West Arnhem Land Northern Australia

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Collection No. TB-131
Size 100cm x 56cm
Bark Painting of Kangaroo West Arnhem Land Northern Australia

This very beautiful old Bark Painting was made by Australian indigenous artist from the Oenpelli Area of Western Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory of Australia.  The Artists name is unknown but could be attributed to a few senior Artists working in Western Arnhem Land in the 1950’s.

This type of painting is often referred to as ” Xray Style ” where the internal organs of the Kangaroo are shown in detail as if  taken by an Xray. In Arnhem Land where people have lived for 60,000 years the area is famous for its Rock Shelter Paintings made by indigenous people over centuries and millenniums. These cave paintings are superb and should not be missed if visiting Australia.  Totemic Animals and Ancestral Beings are well represented in Cave Painting.  This Bark Painting could easily be seen as a Cave Painting, likely painted in the 1950’s it shows a large kangaroo in Xray Style painted in white, yellow, lack & red ochre. The painting has a real presence that the artist was communicating when he made this painting, the Kangaroo looks alive.  Early Bark Paintings like this example are rare. people hold onto them because they are so beautiful.  This is in reasonably good condition for its age. It has have a museum conservator mounting the allows the bark to move slightly but keeps it safe from curling. There is slight undulations of the bark & this is natural for older bark paintings.

This superb exhibition and book from The National Museum of Australia in Canberra: Old Masters: Australia’s Great Bark Painters: see link below