Yirrkala Bark Paintings and Artists

Share Button

MAYMURU NARRITJIN OLD MASTERS 5Yirrkala Bark Paintings come from Yirrkala Mission in Eastern Arnhem land and have several characteristics. First the artwork is likely to be “framed” that is enclosed within distinct boundary lines. Within this area the surface of the bark is often completely covered with primary figures and background designs. It is almost as if the artists abhorred empty spaces. The paintings themselves tend to be finer, more formalised, more elegant and more static than the Milingimbi  / central arnhem land region.

I Buy Yirrkala Bark Paintings and if you have one to sell I would love to see it. If you have an Yirrkala Painting and just want to know what it is worth please feel free to send me a jpeg.


MAYMURA NARRITJIN Many of the background clan designs found in Yirrkala bark Painting designs were derived from patterns of Batik cloth brought by the Makasan traders long before the arrival of white Australians. Crosshatching is common both as a background design and to fill in figures as are lines dots and stippling. The designs are often laid on in fine lines that resemble embroidery. Yirrkala Painting are sometimes made up of several panels, each depicting a different incident or figure. Some of the largest barks come from this region, including rare book barks. Book barks are a series of barks, where each bark serves as a chapter of a legend or myth.


Yirrkala painters tend to have the finest cross hatching and it is often the design of the detailed crosshatching that will indicate which artist produced the work. The themes of the painting relate to myths and as these myths are clan related this can also help in determining the artist.

Yirrkala Bark painting Artists Yirrkala sculpture artists include:

Birrikidji Gumana

Mithinari Gurruwiwi

Mathaman Marika

Wandjuk Marika

Gawirrin Gumana

Munggurrawuy Yunupingu

Mithinari Gurruwiwi

Mawalan Marika

The Yirrkala Region reaches from the Woolen River to the Gulf of Carpenteria and South to Roper River. It includes both Echo island and the English Company Islands. The area, though it encompasses groups from Blue Mud Bay to the Roper River is largely home to the Murngin or Wulamba, people. Patrilineal clans are the basis of local social organisation. Yirrkala was founded in 1934 as a mission of the Methodist church. White beaches and rocky bluffs alternate on the shoreline. The interior contains stretches of open savanah which flood in the wet season. In the past the coast was regularly visited by Makasan traders who influenced both mythology and art.

If this post has been informative please take the time and make the effort to share it on social media. By clicking any of the share buttons below you create a link from your social site to this article. Links are what google uses to calculate what information on the web is useful. By sharing this article you are letting google know you found my article / images of some value. Thanks!

Share Button

2 thoughts on “Yirrkala Bark Paintings and Artists

  1. ive been searching on and off for over 1 year ive left my name and number with many restorers with no reply you are the first to come back with the info ive been looking for thankyou very much if I decide to go ahead I will contact you and procede from there.darrin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please copy the string QubysM to the field below: