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Bark Painting of a Turtle W Arnhem Land Northern Territory


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Collection No. TB-507
Size 56.5cm x 48.0 cm
Bark Painting of a Turtle W Arnhem Land Northern Territory

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.  This painting depicts a Turtle in Xray Style.  This type of painting is often referred to as ” Xray Style ” where the internal organs of the animal 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 superb exhibition and book on Bark Paintings from The National Museum of Australia in Canberra: Old Masters: Australia’s Great Bark Painters: see link :  https://www.nma.gov.au/exhibitions/old-masters