We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of New South Wales stands.

Art from Milingimbi: taking memories back

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‘There are particular moments in the history of art when exceptional things happen. Such a moment occurred in the 1950s in Milingimbi, the small island community in Arnhem Land in far northern Australia. Gathered in groups in the shade of the tamarind trees, artists worked alongside one another, their individual approaches and shared visual language resulting in a distinctive style of painting of a quality and scale never before seen. These artists created exquisite bark paintings with jewel‐like surfaces that capture the complexities of land, sea, sky and cultural inheritance in the one seemingly abstracted image.

Drawn from a unique collection held at the Art Gallery of New South Wales and developed in close collaboration with the Milingimbi community, ‘Art from Milingimbi’ includes 62 exquisite bark paintings by 15 artists, as well as ceremonial and utilitarian sculptural objects. Together with essays on the artists, the art and the history of Milingimbi, and historic and contemporary photographs, it provides readers with a unique insight into the artists, their culture and their connectedness to place.’