Tribe: Alawa Community Area: Arnhem Land Born: c. 1940
Barney Ellaga is an elder of the Alawa Community. He has an intimate knowledge of his country, which is powerfully portrayed in his vibrant works. Barney’s use of strong, contrasting colours, creates a beautifully unique depiction of his land. Each brush stroke represents Alawa.
A central theme in Barney’s works is the traditional men’s body paint designs used for important ceremonies and the patterning is also representative of the King Brown snakeskin. The King Brown Dreaming is a story relevant to the creation myth and is an important part of Barney’s country and heritage.
Barney’s work has been exhibited in several exhibitions since 1989, with many acquisitions in prominent museums and public collections, including nine paintings acquired by the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.