Aboriginal Art: National Gallery of Victoria

Another trip to the NGV and I’m thinking my face is going to fall off from the cold. This time around we’re headed to a fixed exhibition of aboriginal artwork from various artists around the country.

Upon strolling around the allocated rooms, I am drawn to a large, and very bright piece of artwork titled Dulka Warngiid. It was several metres in length and stretched out across almost one entire wall. The colour palette used in this work were blues, reds and yellows.

Upon reading the description I find that this is a collaboration piece, and features the work of 7 different artists. Each contribute their own essence and experience of living in a small community on Bentinck Island. All of these artists are women, some of which have passed away in the last few years, and it is evident that they all have a very unique painting technique. The shapes and brush work in this work is very varied, some brushstrokes are fine and repeditive, others are more random and sweep across larger areas.

For me, the first thing that stands out about this work is the pallete used to create it. The colours remind me of a coral reef which ties in with the theme of island life. Secondly I love the collaboration and the size. The impressive size of the painting makes you feel as if you are completely immersed in this expression of life and personal experience.


Dulka Warngiid

2007, Mornington Island, Queensland

synthetic polymer paint on canvas


Birmuyingathi Maali Netta Loogatha, Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda Gabori, Warthadangathi Bijarrba Ethel Thomas, Thunduyingathi Bijarrb May Moodoonuthi, Kuruwarriyingathi Bijarrb Paula Paul, Wirringajingathi Bijarrb Dawn Naranatjil, Rayarriwarrtharrbayingat Amy Loogatha.


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