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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art

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Niwuda (Yirritja honey)

circa 1960


Binyinyuwuy Djarrankuykuy


1928 - 1982

Language group

Djambarrpuyungu, Arnhem region


Binyinyuwuy celebrates the communal joy associated with collecting sugarbag (wild honey) in 'Niwuda (Yirritja honey)' c1960. This intricate bark painting, consisting of diamond-patterned designs painted with brilliant ochres, refers to the Gupapuyngu Daygurrgurr clan of Binyinyuwuy’s mother. The hive is ingeniously depicted, with the variations in colour referring to the honeycomb filled with honey, wax, pollen, dead bees and debris. The black circle and pointed cone represent the built-up opening of the hive, while also referring to sacred objects made of painted and decorated wood or rolled paperbark bound with string, to signify honey in ceremony.


Other Titles

Jiridja honey bee

Yirritja Honey Bee Design (Niwuda)


circa 1960

Media category

Bark painting

Materials used

natural pigments on bark


102.9 x 25.1 cm

Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.


Gift of Dr Stuart Scougall 1960


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Binyinyuwuy Djarrankuykuy

Artist profile

Works in the collection



Where the work was made

Shown in 5 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 5 publications


Edmund Capon AM, OBE, Steven Miller, Tony Tuckson, James Scougall, Mollie Gowing, Harry Messel, Craig Brush, Ronald Fine, Alison Fine, Gordon Davies, Rosalind Davies, Christopher Hodges, Helen Eager, Rosemary Gow, Sandra Phillips, Daphne Wallace and Ken Watson, Gamarada, Sydney, 1996, 39 (colour illus.).

Emily Joyce Evans and Falk Wolf, Remembering forward: Australian Aboriginal painting since 1960, 'Bark paintings', pg. 102-123, Cologne, 2010, 106 (colour illus.). 46

Hetti Perkins and Ken Watson, A material thing - objects from the collection, Sydney, 1999.

Cara Pinchbeck, Art from Milingimbi, ‘Binyinyuwuy’, pg. 44-59, Sydney, 2016, 53 (colour illus.), 140.

Ken Watson, Tradition today: Indigenous art in Australia, 'Binyinyuwuy', pg. 30, Sydney, 2004, 30, 31 (colour illus.).