Artist : Barney Ellaga

Artist Profile

Artist : Barney Ellaga
Born : c 1941

Barney is an elder of the Alawa Community in the upper reaches of the Cox and Arnold rivers, south of the Roper River and west of the Gulf of Carpentaria.

He was born around 1941 in the Minyerri region of the Northern Territory. He possesses a holistic view of his country and expresses that profound understanding in mature and immensely appealing work.

The stippled brushwork gives an interesting texture to all the works. The lines are feathery or stippled rather than solid, blending between the foreground and background colours. The palette is generally bold and highly keyed, with purples, oranges, reds, and browns predominating. Barney's painted surfaces combine to produce a shimnmering effect that is also seen in the recent works of Makinti Napanangka.

In a recent catalogue description (Alcaston Gallery), Ellaga's paintings are described as "pure abstract works created with brilliant saturated colours, created with a special brush technique, and confident compositions. He combines imbalance with balance, beautiful harmony with stark contrasts to create works of great impact and power."


Barney paints in a style where each line represents a different aspect of his country. This style of painting can also be seen in the ancient rock art paintings throughout Alawa country.
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