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Terry Ngamandarra Wilson

(Australia 1950 – )

Language group
Gun-nartpa, Arnhem region , Burarra, Arnhem region
Waterhole at Barlparnarra
Place of origin
ManingridaCentral Arnhem LandNorthern TerritoryAustralia
Media category
Bark painting
Materials used
natural earth pigments on eucalyptus bark

65.0 x 42.0 cm

Purchased with funds provided by the Aboriginal Collection Benefactors' Group 2005
Accession number
© Terry Ngamandarra Wilson. Licensed by Viscopy, Sydney
Yiribana Gallery
Further information

The Maningrida Arts and Culture documentation for the work states:

"The artist has depicted waterholes, called rralala, represented by the four symmetrically placed circular shapes dominating the painting, and a creek, called merndagijirra, depicted by the central horizontal band, at a place called Burlupurr A-yurra.

This site is part of the large swamp called Barlparnarra. The swamp lies to the north west of Gochan Jiny-jirra, where Ngamandarra lives.

Ngamandarra is a senior custodian for Barlparnarra, which is a complex of important sacred sites for the Jowunga moiety group throughout central Arnhem Land. It is associated with the creation myth of the two sisters, which has a number of versions celebrated throughout Arnhem Land. The sisters of commonly known as Djang’kawu, but in the Barlparnarra version they are called Murlurlu. Many dreaming tracks of mythological beings associated with the two sisters converge at this site and ceremonies which celebrate their journeys are still held there.

Burlupurr A-yurra is a dry season camp, where there is water all year round. The name means 'where the dilly bag lies', which is a reference to the dillybags carried by the Murlurlu as she traversed the swamp country.
When discussing the swamp with the artist, he remarked that in order to go there for water one must first talk to the Wangarra spirits to gain their permission."

© Australian Art Department, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2005

Bibliography (1)

Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of New South Wales Annual Report 2006, 'Year in review: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art', pg. 23-25, Sydney, 2006, 24.

Exhibition history (2)

22nd National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award, Museum and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory, Darwin, 12 Aug 2005–23 Oct 2005

Our spirits lie in the water, 15 Nov 2014–01 Nov 2015