'Queenfish,' a bark painting by Australian aboriginal artist John Mawurndjul

Works by Australian Aboriginal Artists Exhibited in Seattle

Richard Walker
4/14/11

Works by some of Australia’s most talented aboriginal artists are being exhibited at the Jeffrey Moose Gallery, 1333 Fifth Ave., through April.

The exhibit is comprised of Central Desert Dot paintings from the artist-run cooperative Warlukurlangu; vinyl-cut prints on paper from Torres Strait islanders; and a group of older bark paintings from Arnhem Land. These barks, in perfect condition after having been stored for decades, are remarkable because of their stunning depictions of the natural world in flat, earth-colored natural ochre paints, handmade by grinding minerals and blending them with tree and orchid sap.

Artists include John Marwurndjul, a bark artist and two-time winner of the Telstra, Australia’s national indigenous art award; and the late Peter Nambarlambarl, known as the last of the true “Rock Art” painters, whose images are similar to famous figurative petroglyphs of the region.

Barks by “Left-Handed” George Jungawanga and Rupin Takumba depict animals and plants of their West Arnhem land region.

Dot paintings by Shorty Jangala Robertson and Ormay Nangala Gallagher of the desert town of Yuendemu depict their most familiar Dreamtime stories, the Ngapa Jukurrpa (water dreaming) and the Yankirri Jukurrpa (emu dreaming).

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