Muwarra GANAMBARR  - Shark (Mana)

Muwarra GANAMBARR - Shark (Mana)

c.1995, 130 x 36cm ADG:1221

ADG: 1221


Shark (Mana), c.1995

Ochre (natural earth pigment) on bark (stringybark - Eucalyptus tetrodonta)

130 x 36cm

Mowarra Ganambarr
c. 1917 – 2005

Language Datiwuy
Local group
Social affiliation
Dhuwa moiety
North East Arnhem Land

Mowarra Ganambarr was a respected Aboriginal artist and law man from the Datiwuy clan in Arnhem Land.

Mowarra’s earliest works were paintings and drawings created specifically for anthropologists, R.M. and C.H. Berndt in 1947 and were later recognised as being at the genesis of the bark painting movement.

Mowarra established outstations in Arnhem Land in the 1960s and 1970s including Ninyikay, Mata Mata and Rorruwuy providing opportunities for Indigenous clan groups to continue a traditional lifestyle. He was awarded an Order of Australia in 2000 for peacekeeping and clan integration efforts.


1988, The Inspired Dream, Life as art in Aboriginal Australia, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory and touring internationally; 1994, The Eleventh National Aboriginal Art Award Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin; 1995, Miny'tji Buku Larrnggay, Paintings from the East, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

2007, Saltwater Yirrkala Bark Paintings of Sea Country travelling exhibition, Australian National Maritime Museum Australian National Maritime Museum and Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery, NSW


Buku-Larrnggay Arts Museum, Yirrkala, NT.; Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin.; National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.; University of Queensland, Anthropology Museum, St Lucia.

Lismore Regional Gallery, Lismore, NSW


Groger-Wurm, H., 1973, Australian Aboriginal Paintings and their Mythological Interpretation, Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies, Canberra. (C) ; West, M.K.C., (ed.), 1988, The Inspired Dream, Life as art in Aboriginal Australia, exhib. cat., Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane.

Saltwater: Yirrkala Bark Paintings of Sea Country, Buku-Larrngay Mulka Centre in association with Jennifer Isaacs Publishing 1999

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