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


Waterhole at Barlparnarra



No image
  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    Maningrida Central Arnhem Land Northern Territory Australia
    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 Art Collection Benefactors 2005
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Terry Ngamandarra Wilson/Copyright Agency
    Artist information
    Terry Ngamandarra Wilson

    Works in the collection


  • About

    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

  • Places

    Where the work was made


  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 2 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 1 publication

Other works by Terry Ngamandarra Wilson