Small is Beautiful – An Exhibition Walkthrough

The Small is Beautiful exhibition opens on 16 November and has some wonderful works contributed by communities and artists from around Australia.

Bark Paintings

Riny tjanju by Djul djul Gurruwiwi

Riny tjanju by Djul djul Gurruwiwi Jap 015701

There are some very delicate little bark paintings from Yirrkala. They come from the Buku-Larrnggay community.  These wonderfully painted barks, some of them just maybe 40 centimetres tall, are quite compact and beautifully painted in ochre. The artists are using traditional designs and painting elements of bush food from that area of coastal Northern Territory.

The barks are gorgeous and they're here along with a group of bird carvings; again, carved from local timber and painted in ochre. They are representing the natural world, the bird life, the plants, aspects of water and fire. We are delighted to include these beautiful little works from Yirrkala in this exhibition.

Bird Carvings

Murriyil by Naminapu Maymuru White

Murriyil by Naminapu Maymuru White Jap 015706

The collection of carved birds range in size from the smallest at about 20 centimetres tall to the largest which stands at about 70 centimetres.

They are decorated with clan designs, representing aspects of the natural world.

Many use cross-hatching, a design that is typical of work from part of Arnhem Land.

One of the carvings uses a design based on miniature butterflies.

The birds are beautifully constructed and are representative of the different types of wildlife you'll find around Yirrkala.

Works On Canvas

The Small is Beautiful exhibition also has a collection of 30 x 30 cm small-scale paintings by artists who've exhibited at Japingka Gallery.

Included in this collection are works from Tarisse King, who has painted some very delicate depictions of her country and the water there. These sell very quickly on the website because they are really stunning works.

Ampilatwatja has also contributed some of their wonderful very finely-dotted landscapes. Those images of country include bush medicine and bush tucker plants. These are all very intricate and finely painted works on small-scale canvases.

Other Central Desert artists included in this beautiful range of works are Walala Tjapaltjarri and Gracie Morton Pwerle.

My Country Antarrengeny by Lilly Kamara Morton
My Country Antarrengeny by Lilly Kamara Morton

Ochre Paintings

Also represented in the Small is Beautiful show are some small ochre paintings from Jilamara Arts on the Tiwi Islands. These are ochre paintings on canvas. They're very small and display the different sorts of patterning that the Tiwi Islanders use in ceremony. These designs have some crosshatching, some sections are dotted and other sections which have diamond-shaped patterns.

The whole richness of that ceremonial design culture comes into the paintings. They've been created with just those few colours available in the ochre palette. They're very refined and very beautiful paintings on canvas.

Kulama by Pauletta Kerinaiua Jap 015742
Kulama by Pauletta Kerinaiua Jap 015742

View the Exhibition: Small is Beautiful - November 16