Artwork titled Guardians of the Forest by Cheryl Davison banner image

ngaranggal djinama

ngaranggal and djinama is dhurga for women/s and make/create.

These works form part of a private collection that celebrate the strength and diversity of female Aboriginal expression and culture. The Bas does not have permission to reproduce images of the works.

To help identify the artists' indigenous regions in Australia, you may like to view the AIATSIS Map of Indigenous Australia.

These highly acclaimed, award winning artists have all exhibited nationally and internationally and their artworks are held in preeminent collections around the world.

Featured artists in collection

  • National Gallery of Australia
  • National Gallery of Victory
  • Queensland Art Gallery
  • Art Gallery of Western Australia
  • Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki (New Zealand)
  • the Musée du Quai Branly (France)
  • Museum of Contemporary Aboriginal Art (Netherlands)

Angelina George 1937-2014 (Roper River, NT)

George is one of Australia’s most collected large-scale landscape painters, her distinctive feature is the detail in capturing moody, undulating aerial perspectives of place. Dry creek beds, burnt trees, sandy river systems, swollen billabongs, sweeping birds, veins of fresh flora on the rocks, walking tracks and camp sites give evidence to the intimate relationship George enjoyed with her past and her land. These journeys are magnified in bright bold paintings of layered bush flowers and birds.

George was the 1997 Winner of the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award’s, general painting prize and received the 1998 highly commended Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award.

George has exhibited extensively, with work featuring in significant collections and major institutions in Australia including:

  • Art Gallery New South Wales
  • National Gallery of Victoria
  • Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory.

Kay Lindjuwanga (Maningrida, NT)

Born in 1957, Lindjuwanga is part of the Kuninjku language group. Lindjuwanga learnt to paint with the help of her husband and acclaimed artist, John Mawurndjul, Lindjuwanga would fill in sketches created by Mawurndjul. This process gave her permission to use Mawurndjul’s Kurulk clan designs.

Lindjuwanga now paints both the clan designs of Mawurndjul and the Kardbam designs from her own clan. Lindjuwanga followed her husband in the development of an abstract style of painting, that draws upon ceremonial cross-hatched designs, known as rrark. Lindjuwanga uses abstract images inspired by ceremonial designs and ancestral power.

Lindjuwanga was the 2004 Winner of the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards, bark painting prize.

Lindjuwangai’s work features in significant collections and major institutions in Australia and abroad, including:

  • National Gallery of Australia
  • National Gallery of Victoria
  • Art Gallery of New South Wales
  • Art Gallery of South Australia
  • Museum Victoria
  • Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory
  • Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College
  • Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection, University of Virginia

Read more about Kay Lindjuwanga

Queenie McKenzie 1915 – 1998 (Kimberley, WA)

One of the most prominent painters of the Warmun (Turkey Creek) community, McKenzie is also one of the most senior figures in Gija women’s law and ceremony. In 1987 McKenzie was the first woman to begin painting in her community. In a little more than a decade of painting, McKenzie emerged as a compelling commentator on the Aboriginal experience. Her works range in theme, from the creation of the world, through to the violent encounters of the colonial era, to the present day.

Banduk Marika AO 1954 – 2021 (Yirrkala, NT)

Like many other women bark painters in Arnhem Land, Marika was taught to paint by her father Mawalan Marika, a noted artist, statesman and ritual leader of the Dhuwa at Yirrkala. As a child Marika sat by her father’s side and watch while he painstakingly covered his bark paintings with the grids of cross-hatched sacred designs of their clan, Riratjingu, in North East Arnhem Land. This was how Marika learnt the stories and symbolic patterns that form the basis of her own work.

Marika was the 2001 Winner of the Red Ochre Award at the National Indigenous Arts Awards, and was named the 2005 Winner of the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards, bark painting prize.

Betty Muffler (Iwantja, SA)

A child survivor of the Maralinga bombings, Muffler lost her entire family, and was rescued by missionaries and raised at the Ernabella mission. Muffler now works in the Indulkana Community on Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands in remote north-west SA. Muffler is a renowned ngangkari (traditional healer) and senior cultural woman. Muffler’s artistic practice spans painting and tjanpi (native grass) weaving.

Muffler was the 2017 Winner of the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award for emerging art and is a current finalist in the 2022 Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award.

Muffler’s work features in significant collections and major institutions in Australia, including:

  • Australian War Memorial
  • Art Gallery of New South Wales
  • Art Gallery of South Australia

Ganbaladj Nabegeyo (Arnhem Land, NT)

Nabegeyo grew up in Gunbalanya and learnt the classic styles and techniques of fibre work from her mother. From these initial teachings, Nabegeyo experimented to develop new ways of creating form and figure, including extending her use of materials to incorporate recycled objects. A storehouse of botanical knowledge, Nabegeyo is a strong advocate for traditional culture.

Nabegeyo was a 2008 and 2012 finalist in the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards.

Mitjilli Naparrula (Kintore, NT)

Naparrula is a Pintupi woman from the Haasts Bluff region. Naparrula began painting at the Ikuntji Womens Centre in 1993, illustrating her father’s country; the pristine sand hills, bushes and trees of Uwalk. Canvases are patterned with strong, vibrant colours and contain an incredible energy. Naparrula’s distinctive style has gained her a strong following in Australia and internationally with exhibitions selling out regularly.

Naparrula’s work features in significant collections and major institutions in Australia, including:

  • National Gallery of Australia
  • National Gallery of Victoria
  • Flinders University Art Museum
  • Art Gallery of New South Wales
  • Artbank
  • Araluen Arts Centre
  • Edith Cowan University Art Collection
  • Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory

Read more about Mitjilli Naparrula.

Sheena Wilfred (Ngukurr, NT)

Wilfred has developed a unique painterly style of many small brushstrokes in bold colour and design. The use of reds, oranges, blues, yellows, pinks and purples emphasise the seasonal mood of her landscapes from the Dry to the Wet seasons. Wilfred not only paints naive figurative narratives, but also abstracts titled Bush Grass and Bush Flowers. In recognition of her fresh, unique style and interpretation of her country, Wilfred has exhibited in several exhibitions nationally and internationally.

Regina Wilson (Peppimenarti, NT)

Wilson is a master weaver and colourist. Following the traditions of her grandmothers and grandfathers work, Wilson paints an extensive variety of stitching and weaving designs. Born in 1948, Wilson belongs to the Nganikurunggur language group.

Wilson was the 2003 Winner of the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards, general painting category. Wilson was also named as a finalist for the Kate Challis RAKA Award, the Togart Award and the Wynne Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Wilson’s work features in significant collections and major institutions in Australia and abroad, including:

  • Australian Parliament House
  • National Gallery of Australia
  • National Gallery of Victoria
  • Art Gallery of New South Wales
  • Queensland Art Gallery
  • The Phillips Collection
  • The British Museum

Read more about Regina Wilson.

Melody Wood (Arnhem Land, NT)

Wood is a master weaver with a focus on pandanus sculpture. Wood’s pieces are constructed from a frame of water vines, filled with knotted pandanus, depicting ancestral beings and animals of West Arnhem Land.

Semeria Wurrkidj (Maningrida, NT)

Wurrkidj, daughter of acclaimed artists John Mawurndjul and Kay Lindjuwanga, is a painter and sculptor specialising in bark painting, dolobbo bim and carvings depicting spirit beings connected to her clan estate, Kurulk. Wurrkidj illustrates designs for which Mawurndjul has given permission to represent, including Wak (Black Crow) and Mankabo, the creek that runs from Milmingkan to Kurrurldul outstations.

Read more about Semeria Wurrkidj.