Barney DANIELS TJUNGURRAYI - Bush Fire Dreaming

Barney DANIELS TJUNGURRAYI - Bush Fire Dreaming

c. 1995, 145 x 67cm ADG:1084

ADG: 1084


Story of painting - Bush Fire Dreaming

This painting tells of the recurring themes of the cycle of life, death and regeneration, using the iconography of the snake and the blue tongue lizard. The bush fire shown as a stippled background of bush scrub is burnt to coax the lizard out from hiding.


Born c.1950 - died 1998
Region Ikuntji (Haasts Bluff), N.T.
Group Luritja
Languages Luritja, Pintupi, Warlpiri, Anmatyerre
Medium Acrylic paint on canvas or linen
Subjects Snake, blue tongue lizard, water, bushfires, centipede, bush tucker

Born at Haasts Bluff, Barney Daniels considered himself a Luritja man, his father was Warlpiri and his mother an Anmatyerre. His early life was spent learning traditional ways of survival, law and ceremony. He received some schooling at the Mungara settlement near Alice Springs. Barney worked as a stockman on Halls Creek cattle station.

In the mid 1980s, he became involved with artists painting in Papunya and started to paint on small canvas boards which he sold through the Centre for Aboriginal Artists in Alice Springs.

The technique of stippled brushwork, as a background for the main design, became his trademark for the recurring theme of the cycle of life, death and regeneration.

The snake, blue tongued lizard, bush fire, centipede, witchetty grub and bush tucker dreamings are the totems handed down to Barney from his fathers, Tjapaltjarri. Passed down over the generations from father to son this provides a direct link to his Dreamtime ancestors.

1985    Dot and Circle, a retrospective survey of the Aboriginal acrylic paintings of Central Australia, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Melbourne
1987    Gauguin Museum, Tahiti
1988    Centre for Aboriginal Artists, Alice Springs
1988    Bicentennial Exhibition, touring Australia
1990    Art Dock, Contemporary Art from Australia, Noumea, New Caledonia
1992    Tjukurrpa, Museum fur Volkerkunde, Basel

1988    Australian Bicentennial Authority, produced: 'My statement for living today', designs on chairs and television sets.

Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth
Flinders University Art Museum, Adelaide
Longbeach Museum, California
Malcolm Forbes Collection, New York
The Holmes a Court Collection, Perth
Gauguin Museum, Tahiti
Artbank, Sydney

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