Lofty Nadjamerrek

Aboriginal artist, Lofty Nadjamerrek begun his art career as a youth, painting on rocks in the region of the headwaters of the Liverpool River, south of Maningrida in the Northern Territory. He excelled in bark painting over a thirty year period and on moving to  Gunbalanya produced works on paper of exceptional quality. He was one of the foremost exponents of the x-ray style of painting of the region. His rock paintings of kangaroo, emu, goats, and a horse and rider survive in shelters at Kodwalehwaleh in the Djordi clan estate.

As opposed to many other artists in western Arnhem Land who make use of multi coloured cross-hatching to infill their works, Lofty preferrd to use x-ray details in association with parallel line hatching in red – a feature of his rock country heritage. Lofty was initiated to the full complement of western Arnhem Land ceremonies and was widely recognised as a leader in a number of them.

He began painting for the market at Oenpelli in 1969. His early works depicted in intricate detail a wide variety of different animal species and later works on paper the tableaux of the major western Arnhem Land ceremonies. Lofty was particularly well known for his images of Yingarna and Ngalyod the rainbow serpents and the paintings emphasised the transformational powers of these beings. A commissioned mural of the subject adorns the foyer of Darwin Ariport. In 1992 Lofty was commissioned to produce a painting for use on the Australian forty cent stamp.

His work has toured nationally and internationally and is held in several prestigious collections both in Australia and overseas.
Subject & Themes
Common subjects are Yingarna (original creator, Rainbow Serpent), Nakidjkidj (rock country spirit) hunting kangaroo , Mimi (rock country spirits). Yam, Namarrkon, kangaroos, bush turkey, Ngalyod, echidna, crocodile, water lily, long neck turtle, wallaby, jungle fowl, echidna in ant bed, nailfish, dhuwa stone country, rock python, rock wallaby, possum, spoonbill, Madayin ceremony.
Collections
Artbank, Sydney.
Australian Museum, Sydney.
Aboriginal Arts Board of the Australia Council, held by the National Museum of Canberra.
Berndt Museum of Anthropology, University of Western Australia.
Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin.
Museum of Contemporary Art, Arnotts Collection, Sydney.
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.
The Holmes a Court Collection, Perth.
University of Queensland, Anthropology Museum, St Lucia.
Group Exhibitions
1975 Australian Bark Painting, from the collection of Dr. Edward L. Ruhe, Meadow Brook Art Gallery, Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan, USA.
1982 Aboriginal Art at the Top, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin.
1983 Artists of Arnhem Land, Canberra School of Arts.
1984 The First National Aboriginal Art Award Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin.
1984/85 Kunwinjku Bim, Western Arnhem Land Paintings from the collection of the Aboriginal Arts Board, National Gallery of Victoria.
1985 The Second National Aboriginal Art Award Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin.
1986 The Art of the First Australians, Kobe City Museum, Japan.
1986 The Third National Aboriginal Art Award Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin.
1987 The Fourth National Aboriginal Art Award Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin.
1988 Aboriginal art of the Top End, c.1935-Early 1970s, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.
1988 The Inspired Dream, Life as art in Aboriginal Australia, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory and touring internationally.
1990 The Seventh National Aboriginal Art Award Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin.
1992 The Ninth National Aboriginal Art Award Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin.
1993 The Tenth National Aboriginal Art Award Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin.
1993 Australian Heritage Commission National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award Exhibition, Old Parliament House, Canberra.
1994 Power of the Land, Masterpieces of Aboriginal Art, National Gallery of Victoria.
1994 The Eleventh National Aboriginal Art Award Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin.
1994 Australian Heritage Commission National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award Exhibition, Old Parliament House, Canberra.
1995 Moon, Rainbow and Sugarbag – The art of Mick Kubarkku and Bardayal Nadjamerrek, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin, and touring.
1995 The Twelfth National Aboriginal Art Award, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin.
Bibliography
Aboriginal Arts Board of the Australia Council,1979, Oenpelli Bark Painting, Ure Smith, Sydney. (C)
Altman, J., and Cook, P., 1982, Aboriginal Art at the Top, exhib. cat., Maningrida Literature Production Centre, Maningrida.
Brody, A., 1984, Kunwinjku Bim: Western Arnhem Land Paintings from the Collection of the Aboriginal Arts Board, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.(C)
Ruhe, E. L., 1975, Australian bark painting, from the collection of Dr. Edward L. Ruhe, exhib. cat. Meadow Brook Art Gallery, Michigan, USA.
West, M.K.C., (ed.), 1988, The Inspired Dream, Life as art in Aboriginal Australia, exhib. cat., Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane.
West, M., (ed.), 1995, Rainbow Sugarbag and Moon, Two Artists of the Stone Country: Bardayal Nadjamerrek and Mick Kubarkku, exhib. cat., Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin.
1994, Kunwinjku Art from Injalak 1991-1992, The John W. Kluge Commission, Museum Arts International Pty. Ltd., North Adelaide.

Showing the single result

Menu