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


Old Man Looking Out



Goody Barrett


circa 1930 –

Language group: Gija, Kimberley region

  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    Warmun (Turkey Creek) East Kimberley Western Australia Australia
    Media category
    Materials used
    natural pigments on linen canvas
    122.0 x 135.0 x 3.2 cm stretcher
    Signature & date

    Signed u.r. verso, black fibre-tipped pen "GOODY". Not dated.

    Mollie Gowing Acquisition fund for Contemporary Aboriginal art 1999
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Goody Barrett/Copyright Agency

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Goody Barrett

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Goody Barrett is a Kija woman in her fifties and lives at Turkey Creek. She is a significant senior Law woman known for her singing and painting talents. Goody has a tremendous capacity for formal invention and a distinctive treatment of the familiar landforms in her country.

    'Old Man Looking Out' 1999 represents a favourite subject for the artist. It tells the story of an old man (the stone sitting on top) looking out from the top of an escarpment at a kangaroo and dingo below. In the drive between Crocodile Hole and Turkey Creek this landmark may be clearly observed. A massive escarpment dominates at a point beside the road covered by majestic boulders that seem to defy gravity and time. At the top, the old man balances with awesome presence enhanced by the play of light at dusk.

    'Old Man Looking Out' 1999 represents an outstanding example of Goody's work, it reveals her capacity for formal invention and preoccupation with framing the image with 'corners'. Her painting of the escarpment boulders form a multi-coloured, musical painter's palette almost evoking the song of the old man and his clapsticks. This painting brings many aspects of Kija culture together - country, story telling, painting and singing.

    Australian Art Department, AGNSW, 1999

  • Places

    Where the work was made

    Warmun (Turkey Creek)

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 2 exhibitions