Barney Ellaga

Date of Birth:



Minyerri, Northern Territory.




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Barney is a senior Law-Man within the Alawa Community. While his art has been exhibited in group exhibitions since 1989 it was not until 1999 that he deemed it appropriate for him to promote and exhibit a major body of his work because of his important community and cultural responsibilities. The seniority and importance of his stories are evident in the brilliant, saturated colours and dynamic compositions he creates. Barney‘s paintings are Alawa, every stroke articulates intimate knowledge of his traditional country.

Barney was born around 1939 in the Minyerri region of the Northern Territory. Barney is a  senior Aboriginal law-man amongst the Alawa community.  Alawa people live on the upper reaches of the Cox and Arnold rivers, south of the Roper River and west of the Gulf of Carpentaria.

Barney’s works are about the  traditional men's body paint designs used for ceremonies, and the King Brown (snake) Dreaming,  depicting the story of the creation, this story is a very important part of Barneys country and heritage.


1989   Utopia & Ngukurr, Alcaston House Gallery, Melbourne

1991    Alcaston House Gallery, Melbourne

1992    Tandanya Aboriginal River Calendar, South Australia

1992   Gulf Country, Christine Abrahams Gallery, Melbourne

1992‭   ‬ Ngundungunya Artists, Hogarth Gallery, Sydney

1993   Alcaston House Gallery, Melbourne

1994    Gallerie Australis, Adelaide

1994   Alcaston House Gallery, Melbourne

1994   Australian Heritage Commission Art Award and Exhibition, Canberra

1995   12th National Aboriginal Art Award, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin

1995   Hogarth Gallery, Sydney

1996   All About Art, Alcaston House Gallery, Melbourne

1997  Ngundungunya, Art for Everyone, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

1997  Bent Strit - Art of South East Arnhem Land, Alcaston House Gallery, Melbourne

1998   Recent Acquisitions, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

1999 ‭ ‬  Alawa Country, Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne

2001   Spirituality and Australian Aboriginal Art, Department of Culture, Madrid, Spain

2002   The Contemporaries, Contemporary Artspace, Brisbane

2003    Bush Gardens of Roper River, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle

2004‭   ‬ “Two Senior Men”, Waterhole Aboriginal Art, Sofitel Wentworth,  Sydney

2005    Waterhole Aboriginal Art, Danks Street, Sydney



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