X Ray bark Painting From Western Arnhem Land

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X Ray Bark Painting

The style of X Ray bark painting stems directly from a long history of rock painting. This article describes the features and designs found in X Ray Bark Painting and provides links to 32 major X Ray Bark Painting Artists.

Commonly the background of a bark painting from X Ray has been covered by a reddish Ochre that has been rubbed in. Sometimes the scrapped surface may be left the colour it assumed when it was scorched and straightened over a fire. Bark painting from this region were originally done inside shelters made of bark during the wet season or as rock painting.



 I Buy X Ray bark painting and if you have one to sell I would love to see it. If you have a bark painting and just want to know what it is worth please feel free to send me a jpeg.


X Ray bark PaintingThe design typically consists of a single figure or a group of figures. The design is boldly outlined in white and stands out clearly from the background. The figures on a bark Painting can be some of the most dynamic and visually intriguing found in Aboriginal Art.

Though there is very little of background detail, the design is often filled in with crosshatching. These figures are distinguished by their roundness and quality of movement. Most old bark painting form Oenpelli exhibit this x ray technique whereby internal organs – usually of animals fish or pregnant women are depicted. This x-ray style of art is a way Aboriginal Art represent the whole spiritual being on a 2 dimensional surface and not just the beings surface. In some old rock painting it is believed the spirit itself came to rest on the rock and left the depiction of its image. It is also the reason that Oenpelli bark painting are sometimes called X Ray Bark Painting or x-ray aboriginal art.

Representations of attenuated matchstick figures called Mimi spirits are also found primarily in aboriginal art from Oenpelli.

X ray bark Painting Aboriginal Artists include:

X Ray bark Painting by NamatbaraJimmy Midjaw Midjaw  | Mick Kubarkku

Lofty Nadjamerrek | Paddy Compass Namatbara

Dick Murramurra  | Nym Djimurrgurr

January Nanganyari  | Balirr Balirr

Rurrkula   | Nicholas

Wagbara   | Madagarlgarl   | Yirawala

Curly Bardkadubbu | Mandidja

Djambalula | Guymala

Paddy Captain Jambuwal

Crusoe Kuningbal | Wally Mandarrk | Yuwunyuwun Murrawarr

Bobby Ngainjmirra  |  Peter Marralwanga

Naiyombolmi | Spider Namirrki | Anchor Wurrkidj

Joshua Wrrongu | George Djaykurrnga

Peter Nabarlambarl | Jimmy Ngainjmirra

Links to these Oenpelli / x ray bark painters 

very early example of an Oenpelli Bark PaintingThe Oenpelli region includes Crocker Island which is home to some of the greatest figurative aboriginal art. The figures on Crocker Island bark Painting are extremely fluid and full of power and mystery.

The Oenpelli region reaches from the East Alligator River to the liverpool River and includes the Coboug Peninsula and Crocker Island and Gouldburn Islands.

Forest plaines which flood in the wet season border the rivers and lagoons which teem with fish. The main settlement is Oenpelli Mission which is about 100 kilometres from the coast near the alligator River. Although as a cattle station it dates back to 1906 it first became the site of a church mission society in 1925. Nowadays aboriginal life centres on the mission station, where cattle are raised and crops are grown.

The Aboriginals of Oenpelli are organised into tribes rather than the smaller clans. Clans commonly trace matrilineal descent. Among them are the Gunwinggu and the Maung. In the Western region occurs the rocky escarpment of the Arnhem land plateau, fissured by chasms and dotted with caves. Evidence of human occupation as long as 20 thousand years ago is reflected in the rock painting. It is one of the oldest living tribal art traditions on earth.

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