Wamud NAMOK, The artist's Country, Liverpool River Enlarge 1 /1


Kuninjku people

Australia 1924 /1928 – 2009

The artist's Country, Liverpool River 1975 Place made: Kabulwarnamyo, Western Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, Australia
Materials & Technique: paintings, bark paintings, natural earth pigments on eucalyptus bark

Dimensions: 101 h x 34.5 w cm
Acknowledgement: Masterpieces for the Nation Fund 2012
Accession No: NGA 2010.1161
Image rights: © the estate of the artist licensed by Aboriginal Artists Agency Ltd

Bardayal Nadjamerrek—nicknamed ‘Lofty’ because of his imposing height—is currently referred to as Wamud Namok during his mourning period. As a young man he travelled throughout his country in Western Arnhem Land and the Katherine region, learning his culture from Kundedjnjenghmi elders and gaining an extensive knowledge of important sites, ceremonies and ancestral stories. He was first taught the art of rock painting by his father Yanjorluk in the 1940s and, in later years, he was known to repaint, re-energise and re-empower ancestral designs at ancient rock art sites. Namok’s bark paintings, drawings and prints drew upon traditional knowledge and teachings; he always used natural ochres, clay and charcoal, much as he employed in his rock art.

Although The artist’s country, Liverpool River has no accompanying explanation, it does appear to show an important and regularly visited site. The perspective is ambiguous: it could be an aerial view showing the Liverpool River flowing through two different types of country; or it could be a plan view—a cross-section of an escarpment wall with geological striations throughout and delicate small trees perched atop a plateau. More likely it is a combination of both perspectives.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2014
From: Collection highlights: National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2014