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bark painting | John McDonald

bark painting

John Mawurndjul: Bark Maestro

June 22, 2018

Here’s an art trivia question: “Who was the first Australian artist to be given a retrospective at two major European museums?” Answer: John Mawurndjul of western Arnhem Land, who in 2005-06 had his work shown at the Museum Tinguely in Basel, and the Sprengel Museum in Hannover. If you don’t remember seeing the exhibition when … More


Gunybi Ganambarr

November 7, 2009

As colonial values spread across the continent in the nineteenth century it was widely believed that the first Australians were doomed to disappear. This was a fixed idea even for pioneering anthropologists such as Baldwin Spencer, who spent the year 1901-02 touring the outback, visiting the inhabitants of those remote regions. For Spencer and his … More


Gunybi Ganambarr

September 1, 2009

In many people’s minds there could be no art-form less open to change than bark painting. It is one of the world’s oldest living forms of artistic expression, probably dating as far back as those rock paintings done 40,000 years ago. Yet bark painting is also one of the abiding paradoxes of contemporary art, for … More