Billiago NABEGEYO - Goose

Billiago NABEGEYO - Goose

1989, 69 x 29cm ADG:1122

ADG: 1122


Goose, 1989

69 x 29cm, Ochre (natural earth pigments) on bark (eucalyptus tetradonta)


Billiago (Billy) NABEGEYO - Biography

c. 1920 – 1991

Language Kunwinjku

Social affiliation Yirritja moiety, Nakangila subsection

Community Gunbalanya (Oenpelli)

Region West Arnhem Land, Northern Territory

Art Centre Injalak Arts and Crafts Association

Subjects Mimi (mimih) spirits, Mimi Spirits and Namarodo Spirits, Sacred Billabong (Waterhole), Crocodile, Fish and File Snakes, Goose.

Billiago (Billy) Nabegeyo was a renowned artist from Gunbalanya (Oenpelli), Western Arnhem Land. Gunbalanya has some of the world’s most noted ancient rock art galleries.

The Aborigine people of Arnhem Land have been representing their religion/mythology in rock art and cave paintings in the caves and escarpments for at least 50,000 years. Weapons, animals, birds, reptiles, fish, tiny mischievous Mimi Spirits or other “sorcery” figures such as the Thunder Man are depicted, with many of the creatures showing their internal structure as well as their outside shape, so that this art is known as “X-ray”.

Sometimes the initiated artist fills in the body or the background with crosshatched clan markings. These paintings have been done in the traditional way, using natural soft rock ‘ochres’ and clays, with brushes made from human hair and tiny twigs. Until about 1990 paintings were only available on bark taken from the stringybark tree - eucalyptus tetradonta, however hand-made cotton Arches paper has been introduced recently in place of bark. Aborigines still use natural ochre ‘paints’ and brushes on both bark and paper, but have substituted modern polymer fixatives, instead of the traditional fixatives of orchid juice, eggs or blood.


Australian Parliament House Art Collection, Canberra, Australia

Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection of the University of Virginia, Virginia, USA

Group exhibitions

Oenpelli bark paintings, Gallery A, Sydney, NSW 16 February-8 March, 1980. Aboriginal artists represented were Wurbilil, Maralwonga, David Milaybuma, Gubargo, Robin Ngainjmirra, Thompson Ulidjirri, Lofty Nabarduyal, George Djayhgurrngd, Nabegeyo, George Djayhgurrnga, William Bilinjara Maralngurra, Dick Nguleingulei, Milidjidj, Philip Danjbuluma, Barguduba, Billiago Nabegeyo, Billinjarra Nabegeyo, Jacky Marrbuma, Shorty Nadjalama.


O'Brien, Dr Alana, Common Ground, La Trobe University Museum of Art, exhibition catalogue. Artists: Ian Abdulla, Roy Wuyngambi Ashley, Henri Bastin, Gumana Birrikitji, Bernard Boles, Mona Burns Isyifunma, Sam Byrne, Didjbaka Dirrdi, Barney Ellaga, Neil Fettling, Mithinari Gurruwiwi, Treahna Hamm, Judy Holding, Banduk Marika,, Bek Mifsud, Michael Mutji Tjangala, Billy Nabegeyo, Jimmy Njiminjuma, John Olsen, Kathleen Petyarre, Clifton Pugh, Angelina Pwerle, Marie Christine Ryder, Tommy Lowry Tjapaljarri, Iain Topliss, Eric Stewart, Douglas Stubbs, John Waller, Harry J. Wedge, Fred Williams, John Wolseley, Jack Wunanwun.

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