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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art

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Title

Bakarra

2009


Artist

John Bulunbulun

Australia

1946 - 18 Apr 2010

Language group

Ganalbingu, Arnhem region


About

John Bulunbulun lived with his wife's family at Wurdeja, not far from the Blyth River in the Northern Territory. He was a member of the Ganalbingu clan, and one of the most important singers and ceremonial men in the northern part of central Arnhem Land. His traditional homeland lay in the Arafura Swamp area. Taught painting by his father, Bulunbulun painted continuously from 1970, having his first solo exhibition at the Hogarth Galleries, Sydney in 1981. He received considerable publicity in 1989 when he took successful action against a Queensland T-shirt maker for illegally reproducing one of his works, a landmark case in Aboriginal intellectual property rights.

‘Bakarra’ 2009 depicts a set of sacred stones, called bakarra, which lay at Gutijwirrka, immersed within tracts of Ganalbingu country, while the deep black strips adorned with delicate floral motifs indicate flowing water. The works is painted in Bulunulun’s distinctive rarrk or crosshatching - with precise and regular bands of red and yellow ochre interspersed with white – employed in combination with bold yellow forms, brilliant white outlining and restrained use of black.


Details


Date

2009


Media category

Bark painting


Materials used

natural pigments on bark


Dimensions

139.0 x 59.0 cm


Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.


Credit

Mollie Gowing Acquisition Fund for Contemporary Aboriginal Art 2015


Location

Not on display


Accession number

115.2015


Artist information

John Bulunbulun

Artist profile

Works in the collection

5


Place

Where the work was made
Maningrida