Bird Dreaming Paintings

Birds feature in many Aboriginal artworks and sculptures. They represent birds from all parts of Australia, from the desert, from rivers and coastline and from urban areas.

 

Three Birds by Peggy Jones

Peggy Jones  |  Three Birds

Jap 007170  |  acrylic on canvas  |  71 x 60 cm

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Birds and Fish by Jimmy Wululu

Jimmy Wululu  |  Birds and Fish

Jap 012148  |  lithograph  |  51 x 38 cm

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Flying Over by Fiona Omeenyo

Fiona Omeenyo  |  Flying Over

Jap 012435  |  acrylic on canvas  |  110 x 86 cm

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Happy Camp by the Spring Creek by Mary McLean

Mary McLean  |  Happy Camp by the Spring Creek

Jap 008781  |  acrylic on canvas  |  90 x 60 cm

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Brolgas by Edward Blitner

Edward Blitner  |  Brolgas

Jap 015500  |  acrylic on canvas  |  100 x 61 cm

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Owl Turutjikini by Romolo Tipiloura

Romolo Tipiloura  |  Owl Turutjikini

Jap 013182  |  carved wood & ochre  |  height 34 cm

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Owl Turutjikini by Romolo Tipiloura

Romolo Tipiloura  |  Owl Turutjikini

Jap 013183  |  carved wood & ochre  |  height 32 cm

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Bird and Snake by Billy Namundja

Billy Namundja  |  Bird and Snake

Jap 010649  |  ochre on paper  |  29 x 21 cm

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Eagle by Turbo Brown

Turbo Brown  |  Eagle

Jap 013430  |  acrylic on linen  |  122 x 91 cm

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Small Lake near Tiich by Rebecca Wolmby

Rebecca Wolmby  |  Small Lake near Tiich

Jap 007041  |  acrylic on canvas  |  144 x 59 cm

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Tjulpu – Bird by Kumana Goodwin

Kumana Goodwin  |  Tjulpu – Bird

Jap 009193  |  Western Myall & Salmon gum

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Brolga Dance by Kirsty Burgu

Kirsty Burgu  |  Brolga Dance

Jap 007477  |  ochre on canvas  |  140 x 70 cm

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Magpie Geese by Jimmy Djelminy

Jimmy Djelminy  |  Magpie Geese

Jap 000294  |  ochre on Arches paper  |  77x 57 cm

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Two Parrots by Turbo Brown

Turbo Brown  |  Two Parrots

Jap 011394  |  acrylic on board, framed  |  61 x 46 cm

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Waterbird, Fish, Stingray by Simon Lobo Badari

Simon Lobo Badari  |  Waterbird, Fish, Stingray

Jap 010639  |  ochre on paper  |  153 x 102 cm

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Magpies by Turbo Brown

Turbo Brown  |  Magpies

Jap 011396  |  acrylic on linen  |  116 x 62 cm

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Owl by Romolo Tipiloura

Romolo Tipiloura  |  Owl

Jap 010537  |  carved wood & ochre  |  height 43 cm

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Water Bird by John Tipungwuti

John Tipungwuti  |  Water Bird

Jap 010556  |  carved wood & ochre  |  height 70 cm

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Kingfisher by Turbo Brown

Turbo Brown  |  Kingfisher

Jap 012447  |  acrylic on linen  |  155 x 108 cm

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Ngatijirri Budgerigar Dreaming by Karen Napaljarri Barnes

Karen Napaljarri Barnes  |  Ngatijirri Budgerigar Dreaming

Jap 013363  |  acrylic on linen  |  107 x 46 cm

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Sea Eagles by Turbo Brown

Turbo Brown  |  Sea Eagles

Jap 012532  |  acrylic on linen  |  121 x 91 cm

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Cockatoo by Thomas Munkanome

Thomas Munkanome  |  Cockatoo

Jap 010550  |  carved wood & ochre  |  height 68 cm

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Box with carved birds by Timor Carving

Timor Carving  |  Box with carved birds

Jap 009872  |  local wood  |  length 27 cm

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Ngatijirri Budgerigar Dreaming by Karen Napaljarri Barnes

Karen Napaljarri Barnes  |  Ngatijirri Budgerigar Dreaming

Jap 013361  |  acrylic on linen  |  107 x 46 cm

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Two Parrots by Turbo Brown

Turbo Brown  |  Two Parrots

Jap 012219  |  acrylic on linen  |  122 x 92 cm

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Tiwi Masked Owl by Romolo Tipiloura

Romolo Tipiloura  |  Tiwi Masked Owl

Jap 010558  |  carved wood & ochre  |  height 54 cm

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Owls by Turbo Brown

Turbo Brown  |  Owls

Jap 012218  |  acrylic on linen  |  140 x 82 cm

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Totemic Bird by Timor Carving

Timor Carving  |  Totemic Bird

Jap 009876  |  local wood  |  length 17 cm

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The Owl by Jane Mervin

Jane Mervin  |  The Owl

Jap 007843  |  acrylic on canvas  |  30 x 30 cm

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Sea Eagle by Bede Tungatalum

Bede Tungatalum  |  Sea Eagle

Jap 010545  |  carved wood & ochre  |  height 38 cm

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Water Bird by Michael Munkara

Michael Munkara  |  Water Bird

Jap 010559  |  carved wood & ochre  |  height 77 cm

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Pirnini Country by Jimmy Pike

Jimmy Pike  |  Pirnini Country

Jap 008220  |  limited edition silkscreen  |  32 x 31 cm

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Galahs on Fence Line by Turbo Brown

Turbo Brown  |  Galahs on Fence Line

Jap 012458  |  acrylic on linen  |  139 x 79 cm

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Owl by Romolo Tipiloura

Romolo Tipiloura  |  Owl

Jap 010538  |  carved wood & ochre  |  height 48 cm

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Diving Duck – Gurrupudu by George Milpurrurru

George Milpurrurru   |  Diving Duck – Gurrupudu

Jap 007132  |  Silk Screenprint  |  79 x 56 cm

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Magpie Geese – Swamp Dreaming by Roy Burrunyula

Roy Burrunyula  |  Magpie Geese – Swamp Dreaming

Jap 008197  |  limited edition silkscreen  |  62 x 43 cm

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Cockatoo by Thomas Munkanome

Thomas Munkanome  |  Cockatoo

Jap 012929  |  carved wood & ochre  |  height 74 cm

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Bu Ka Palgie – Shell & Bird by Dennis Nona

Dennis Nona  |  Bu Ka Palgie – Shell & Bird

Jap 008896  |  limited edition etching  |  30 x 60 cm

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Owl Turutjikini by Romolo Tipiloura

Romolo Tipiloura  |  Owl Turutjikini

Jap 012925  |  carved wood & ochre  |  height 36 cm

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Diving Duck by Andrew Margalulu

Andrew Margalulu  |  Diving Duck

Jap 008205  |  limited edition lino print  |  38 x 30 cm

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Owl Turutjikini by Romolo Tipiloura

Romolo Tipiloura  |  Owl Turutjikini

Jap 012920  |  carved wood & ochre  |  height 48 cm

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Bowerbird Woman by Mary McLean

Mary McLean  |  Bowerbird Woman

Jap 010353  |  limited edition etching  |  50 x 39.5 cm

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Coast at Limmen Bight by Maureen Thompson

Maureen Thompson  |  Coast at Limmen Bight

Jap 010516  |  acrylic on linen  |  120 x 120 cm

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Cockatoo by Thomas Munkanome

Thomas Munkanome  |  Cockatoo

Jap 010549  |  carved wood & ochre  |  height 63 cm

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Waterbird & Nest by Roy Yilidjirri

Roy Yilidjirri  |  Waterbird & Nest

Jap 010637  |  ochre on bark  |  76 x 46 cm

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Kulama – White Cockatoo by Roslyn Orsto

Roslyn Orsto  |  Kulama – White Cockatoo

Jap 012926  |  carved wood & ochre  |  height 74 cm

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Water Bird by Mario Munkara

Mario Munkara  |  Water Bird

Jap 010552  |  carved wood & ochre  |  height 72 cm

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Fishing – Out at Sunset by Fiona Omeenyo

Fiona Omeenyo  |  Fishing – Out at Sunset

Jap 014984  |  acrylic on canvas  |  219 x 104 cm

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Owl by Romolo Tipiloura

Romolo Tipiloura  |  Owl

Jap 010539  |  carved wood & ochre  |  height 39 cm

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Jinang from the mainland – Mildjingi by Mick Magani

Mick Magani  |  Jinang from the mainland – Mildjingi

Jap 005900  |  bark  |  64 x 25 cm

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Cockatoo by Thomas Munkanome

Thomas Munkanome  |  Cockatoo

Jap 012930  |  carved wood & ochre  |  height 73 cm

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Water Bird by John Tipungwuti

John Tipungwuti  |  Water Bird

Jap 010557  |  carved wood & ochre  |  height 73 cm

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Bush Turkey Benuk by Graham Badari

Graham Badari  |  Bush Turkey Benuk

Jap 012490  |  limited edition silkscreen  |  17 x 23 cm

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Wuntarra Karraji by Jimmy Pike

Jimmy Pike  |  Wuntarra Karraji

Jap 008212  |  limited edition silkscreen  |  50 x 33 cm

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Tokapuwi – Bird by Mario Munkara

Mario Munkara  |  Tokapuwi – Bird

Jap 012946  |  carved wood & ochre  |  height 80 cm

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Travelling On by Fiona Omeenyo

Fiona Omeenyo  |  Travelling On

Jap 013695  |  acrylic on canvas  |  120 x 87 cm

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Out to the Horizon by Fiona Omeenyo

Fiona Omeenyo  |  Out to the Horizon

Jap 013693  |  acrylic on canvas  |  118 x 89 cm

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Searching the Coast by Fiona Omeenyo

Fiona Omeenyo  |  Searching the Coast

Jap 014979  |  acrylic on canvas  |  220 x 103 cm

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Birds feature in many Aboriginal artworks and sculptures. They represent birds from all parts of Australia, from the desert, from rivers and coastline and from urban areas. Unlike many other animals, birds are not generally part of the bush food resource sought by Aboriginal people. There are exceptions like magpie geese, bush turkey and emu which are highly prized for their meat. Eggs are valued and are collected from nests of larger birds.

In the inland regions parrots and cockatoos, budgerigars, hawks, eagles and kingfishers are all found in large numbers. Many of these birds are part of the Dreamtime Creation stories of the region and become part of the totemic system that links certain animal species to Indigenous people.

In the Tiwi Islands north of Darwin bird carvings are part of the ceremonial life on the islands. Birds are viewed as messengers or bringers of knowledge from the spirit world to the human world. These bird carvings include owls, sea hawks, pelicans, brolgas, cranes and many other forms of waterbirds. The carvings were often part of Pukumani ceremonial poles which were used on the Islands as part of funeral rituals to honour the dead.

In the Kimberley region the owl is seen as part of the totemic spirits that created the people and the lands. The owl appears in connection with Wandjina spirits that rejuvenate the country each year with the seasonal monsoons. On Cape York artists depict birds as the spirits of their people being freed from the earth. Urban Aboriginal artists have shown birdlife including magpies and kookaburras. Birds remain part of the Aboriginal worldview for both their physical and spiritual associations.

More animal art:

Artists who paint Bird: