Indigenous Art by Galliwinku community on Elcho Island


 Indigenous Art the Elcho Island Collection In 1990 was painted by members of the Galliwinku community on Elcho Island, including twenty-nine surrounding outstations.


Arts Coordinator DJ Brennan relocated with his wife Virginia daughter Ennica and son Novak to Elcho Island to assist the Yolngu people in realising their dream of a wider audience in the public domain and understanding of an ancient people.  

For the first time natural ochre acrylic paints in four base used on stretched canvas, referred to by the Yolngu people as ‘white man's bark’. The community elders had been most concerned and aware that should the practice of bark painting continue no trees would be left for future generations.  Prior to this and even today, these images would have been painted on the body or on bark for traditional cultural ceremonies colours.


The cross-hatched pattern of one fine line over another, a feature of Arnhem Land paintings is referred to as ‘Rarrk’.  Moiety membership inherited patrilineally, determines an artist’s rights to use particular designs and patterns, allowing them also to assert their identity and relationships between individuals, groups, connection to the land and the Dreaming.


It is the acquisition of knowledge, not material possessions, that one attains status in Aboriginal culture. Art is an expression of knowledge, and hence a statement of authority.’  Aboriginal Australia, Caruana. Senior Mala Leaders of Elcho Island were determined in their efforts to create something for their children to look back on with pride and to develop an educational tool for greater understanding and awareness of these ancient people.

Andrew Galijtu (I) - Dhuwa

Andy Watjuku - Dhuwa

Ann Warrayak - Dhuwa

Bitiga - Yirritja

Charlie Madjuwi  - Yirritja

Charlie Djirarrwuy  - Yirritja

Daisy Warru (I) - Yirritja

Dangumbu Manyurrun - Yirritja

David Warrambulla - Dhuwa

David Burrukala

Daymanja ( I ) - Yirritja

Djekula Bobopani - Yirritja

Dorothy Djekula Marrkula - Dhuwa

Dorothy Guyula Wamidit - Dhuwa


Dhupidj - Yirritja

Frank Djejula - Yirritja

George Liwukan

George Barripary - Yirritja

George Liwukan - Yirritja

Helen Bitika Wunaymurra - Yirritja

Ian Warawul

James Yitirri - Yirritja

James Barripary - Yirritja

Jeffrey Dhupiditj - Yirritja

Jeffrey Walkuntjawuy - Dhuwa

Jeofferey Guranawuy - Dhuwa

Jeofferey Walkuntjawuy - Dhuwa

Johny Barrmula - Yirritja

Joy Manyguluma  - Dhuwa

Judy Manay  - Dhuwa

Kalley Yalkarriwuy  - Dhuwa

Kenny Djekurr  - Dhuwa

Lauri Dhuwa

Len Wedui  - Dhuwa

Linda Namilyal  - Dhuwa


Mary Marrnyla  - Dhuwa

Michael Mungula  - Yirritja

Mickey Mumarra Ganambarr - Dhuwa

Mickey Daypurryun (II) (wife Megan)  - Yirritja

Micky Daypurryun (I)

Mickey Mumarra Ganambarr  - Dhuwa

Micky Daypurryun (II) - Dhuwa

Micky Daypurryun (I) - Dhuwa

Mutjayja  - Dhuwa

Muwarra  - Dhuwa

Mortee Miniringa

Mrs Ganaparraz

Ross Belu - Yirritja

Samual Badikupa -  Dhuwa

Selena Galang  - Yirritja

Steven Bunbatjun -  Dhuwa

Steven Dhongun Bukulatpi - Yirritja

Steven Bunbutun

Steven Dhonogun Bukulatpi  - Dhuwa

Steven Bunbajtun  - Dhuwa

Suzina McDonald

Trever Wunywuny  - Yirritja

Tony Buwang Buwang  - Dhuwa

Tony Djikulu  - Yirritja

Unknown Millingimbi

Unknown Story and Name promised

Wilson Lawajura  - Dhuwa





From Elcho Island, North East Arnhem land in the Northern Territory of Australia, the first major collection of bark images on canvas mainly in Acrylic Ochre, collectively held, documented and recorded on a one to one basis with each artist. 

This collection is of national importance, a major shift towards more accessible and portable Arnhem land art and spiritual expression of the artist on Elcho Island.  An important collection, extremely suitable for overseas exhibition and marketing.  Its portability and lack of conservation problems a distinct advantage, opening new doors for Aboriginal art from Arnhem land Australia.


You would like to know more about Aboriginal Art, your curiosity challenged?  As an introduction, this summary of Aboriginal art may help you to understand what it is that makes this art form recognisable as a school of its own, ABORIGINAL ART.


Aboriginal art uniqueness of spirit and originality of performance is applauded and rewarded, categorised into “dot”, “x-ray” or “urbanised”. Often just having aboriginal ancestors making one an aboriginal artist.  To accept this, you are accepting the idea that all aboriginal paintings have equal significance.


Aboriginal art is unique, which is why you get so many variations.  The results are outstanding, stimulating and challenging to the mind.  Aboriginal art demonstrates, in illustration, the lateral thinking of the Aboriginal people in life.  No two artists are the same, the adaptability their trademark, their survival and dependent on just that.  Aboriginal Art is unique.  As unique as you and I.


Take the challenge, discover for yourself it will open your mind, enrich your life with information, its meaning and mystery.  A tangible expression of Aboriginal Culture sustained over an incredible period of 40,000 years.


The 1990 Elcho Island Traditional Art Collection is the result of Senior Mala Leaders, Micky Daypurruyun, and George Liwukan, profound concern for their children, they sought assistance to open up social and economic avenues of opportunity through their art practice so that there would be something left to build on and respect.

Senior Mala Leaders of Elcho Island were determined in their efforts to create something for their children to look back on with pride and to develop an educational tool for greater understanding and awareness of these ancient people.

DJ Brennan Art Coordinator

1673 Valley of the Giants Rd

Bow Bridge Denmark 6333

Western Australia 

Phone: + 61 8 9840 8343

Mobile: 0411 226 766