Aboriginal Art

Boyd untitled

Untitled 2012 by Daniel Boyd, UA2013.5

The art collection has a small number of bark paintings, woven baskets and implements from the Northern Territory. These include ochre paintings on bark that portray aspects of spiritual and ceremonial life of the Aboriginal people of Eastern Arnhem Land. A significant painting in the Collection is by Joe Djembangu (b. 1935) is a senior custodian for the ceremonial cycles of the ancestral Sisters of the Wagilag and Witlji, the olive python.

There is also a group of eight watercolours in the collection from the 1940s by artists from Hermannsburg, Central Australia. Walter Ebatarinja (1915–68), and the Pareroultja brothers Edwin, Rubin and Otto of the Western Arrernte group were inspired by the example of Albert Namatjira when he began painting in watercolour at Hermannsburg in 1936

Several of these were gifted from the estate of Adolphus Peter Elkin (1891-1979), Professor in Anthropology at the University from 1934, who undertook field research in the Central desert and the Kimberley region.

The aim of this collection is to add to the representation of contemporary and historically significant art by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists. Works by England Bangala, Roy Burnyila and Jacky Tjakamarra have recently been donated by Dr David Edwards. Recent acquisitions include works by contemporary indigenous artists Daniel Boyd and Christian Thompson.