A4762 'Alawa Country' 90 x 120cm, Acrylic on Linen
A major survey show by Aboriginal artist Barney Ellaga opened at Mitchell Fine Art in Fortitude Valley on April 6th.
The exhibition ‘Place of Stones’ is a collection of Aboriginal artwork never exhibited in its entirety, with the most recent painting completed in 2004.
Barney Ellaga was born circa 1939 and lived in the remote Northern Territory community of Minyerri in Southern Arnhem Land. He was a senior Aboriginal law man and until his recent passing in late 2015 was the last remaining song man of the Alawa people.
Ellaga had intimate knowledge of his traditional homelands and it is this subject, Alawa Country, which his work most represents.
Barney painting at Minyerri.
Ellaga paints his maternal and paternal Dreamings and his distinct style and exuberant use of colour portray the stories of his country and his ancestors.
Ellaga is represented in many corporate and institutional collections including the National Gallery of Australia and the National Gallery of Victoria.
“Barney was a leader in developing a style of art that is now considered distinct for this area,” says Mike Mitchell, Director Mitchell Fine Art “He was an innovator and wildly extravagant in his use of colour and imagery.”
Mike worked closely with Barney in the Northern Territory from 2000 until 2004 and he and Barney formed a close friendship. The relationship however goes back much further with Barney working as a stockman alongside an older sibling of Mike’s in the 1980’s.
Mitchell Fine Art was previously known Muk Muk Fine Art. The ‘Muk Muk’ or Night Owl was a primary subject of Ellaga’s.
The exhibition will be on display until 30th April at 86 Arthur St, Fortitude Valley.
To view the exhibition online visit www.mitchellfineartgallery.com