Barney Ellaga



         


Barney Ellaga


Born:	   	1939 
State:	 	NT 
Region:	 	Southern Arnhem Land 
Community: 	Hodgson Downs 
Language: 	Alawa 
Social Affiliation: 	Yirritja moiety, 
        	Guyal semi-moiety 
Subjects: 	Camp fires- Miniyerri country 

Medium: 	Didjeridu, acrylic paint on canvas,


Collections:
Kerry Stokes Collection, Perth. 
Laverty Collection, Sydney. 
Macquarie Bank Collection, Sydney. 
National Aboriginal Cultural Institute Inc., SA. 
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. 
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. 
Northern Land Council Native Title Collection, Darwin. 
R.H. & A. Myer Collection, Melbourne. 


Exhibitions:
Individual Exhibitions: 
2004 - All Alaway Country, Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne. 
2002 - Painting Mambali Country, Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne. 
2000 - All Alawa, Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne. 
1999 - Alawa Country, Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne. 


Group Exhibitions:
2005 - Recent work by Barney and Tibby Ellaga, Raft Artspace, Darwin. 
2004 - All about art, Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne; Colour Power - 
Aboriginal Art Post 1984, The Ian Potter Centre, NGV Australia, 
Melbourne.
2003 - Art Miami, January Florida USA, represented by Alcaston Gallery,
Melbourne; Bush Gardens of Roper River, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle, 
Western Australia. 
2002 - Spirituality and Australian Aboriginal Art, touring exhibition,
lcaston Gallery, Melbourne, Australia; All About Art, Alcaston Gallery,
Melbourne, 2002; Melbourne Art Fair, represented by Alcaston Gallery, 
Melbourne; Water Country, Kluge-Ruhe Collection, October 11 2002 - 
January 18 2003, University of Virginia, USA; Inaugural exhibition at 
The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia at Federation Square, October 
2002. 
2001 - Spirituality and Australian Aboriginal Art, touring exhibition,
Department of Culture, Regional Government of Madrid, Spain; A Private
View: 1971 - 2001, thirty years of contemporary Aboriginal art, 
McClelland Gallery, Melbourne, 10th May - 23rd June;Space, Artists for
Kids Culture Trust fundraiser exhibition & auction, Mira Fine Art 
Gallery, Melbourne; All About Art, Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne, 2001
2000 - Artfair 2000, represented by Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne; All 
About Art, Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne. 
1999 - All About Art, Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne. 
1998 - Recent Acquisitions, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. 
1997 - Ngundungunya: Art for Everyone, National Gallery of Victoria, 
Melbourne; Beat Strit - Art of South East Arnhem Land, Alcaston 
Gallery, Melbourne. 
1996/97 - Cafe Alcaston, in conjunction with Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne. 
1996 - All About Art, Alcaston House Gallery, Melbourne. 
1995 - Hogarth Galleries, Sydney in conjunction with Alcaston House 
Gallery, Melbourne; The Twelfth National Aboriginal Art Award, Museum 
and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory.. 
1994 - Gallerie Australis, Adelaide in conjunction with Alcaston House
Gallery Alcaston House Gallery, Melbourne; Australian Heritage 
Commission Art Award & Exhibition, Canberra. 
1993 - Alcaston House Gallery, Melbourne. 
1992 - Gulf Country, Christine Abrahams Gallery, in conjunction with 
Alcaston House Gallery, Melbourne; Ngundungunya Artists, Hogarth 
Gallery, Sydney in conjunction with Alcaston House Gallery, Melbourne.
1991 - Alcaston House Gallery, Melbourne; Tandanya Aboriginal River 
Calendar, SA. 
1989 - Utopia & Ngukurr, Alcaston House Gallery, Melbourne. 


Select Bibliography:
Australian Heritage Commission, Second National Aboriginal and 
Torres Strait Islander Heritage Art Award and Exhibition Catalogue, 
Canberra, 1994. 

'Cries from the back of the truck echo down the years', Robin Usher, 
Arts Correspondent, The Age, 5th April, 2000. 

NGV Foundation Annual Report 2000, Image reproduction and acquisition 
details, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 2000. 

Spirituality and Australian Aboriginal Art, exhibition catalogue, 
Alcaston Gallery & Comunidad de Madrid, Spain, 2001. 

Space, calendar for the Artists for Kids Culture Trust fundraiser 
exhibition & auction, Melbourne 2001. 

Painting for Country, Northern Land Council Native Title Collection 
2002 Calendar, 2001. 

Ryan, Judith, Indigenous Australian Art in the National Gallery of 
Victoria, Melbourne, 2002. 

Ryan, Judith. Colour Power - Aboriginal Art Post 1984, National 
Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 2004. 




 Discovery Media, Documentation Pty Ltd, and the Australian 
Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies


Notes:
Published Wednesday, February 18, 2004 

As a senior custodian and lawman for Alawa country, Barney Ellaga 
possesses a holistic view of his country. Now, he expresses that 
profound understanding in mature and immensely appealing work.

In the current exhibition of work by Barney Ellaga on show at 
Alcaston Gallery, we see works that are quite different to the three
paintings on display at the Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia (from 
around 1998). In those larger works, the artist used big, flat 
panels of solid colour. In this exhibition, Barney Ellaga continues
to experiment with the surface, and draws attention to rock art in
his Alawa country by alluding to the chalky and textured lines that 
result from painting over the rough stone surface of cave walls. 

The stippled brushwork gives an interesting texture to all the works: 
the lines are feathery or stippled rather than solid, blending 
between the foreground and background colours. The palette is generally
bold and highly keyed, with purples, orange, reds and browns 
predominating. Ellaga's painted surfaces combine to produce a 
shimmering effect that is also seen in the recent works of Makinti 
Napanangka and Emily Kngwarreye's overpainting style of the mid-1990s. 
The visual language conveys a poetic voice of understanding and 
affection for his country: vibrant brushwork alludes to a complex 
system of harmonizing forces and counter-forces in the semi-tropical 
land. Our eye moves, sweeping across the canvas and responding to 
the infinite details of the feathered brushwork over the background 
field. 

Ellaga's large "Alawa Country" (2000) shows a breathtaking panorama of
his country. Here, the central theme is the Roper River, with 
various shades of landscape falling on either side. Colours range 
from burnt umbers to luxuriant greens and mauves that record the 
range of natural colours in this area. As a senior custodian and 
lawman for Alawa country, Barney Ellaga possesses a holistic view 
of his country. Now, he expresses that profound understanding in 
mature and immensely appealing work. 
Reviewed by Martin Shub February 2004.