Ochre

Ochre pigments from the iron-rich earth in Australia gave Aboriginal artists their first colours, in tones of yellows, oranges, reds and browns

 

Wandjina Rain Spirit by Lily Karadada

Lily Karadada  |  Wandjina Rain Spirit

Jap 015819  |  ochre on canvas  |  100 x 90 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

Wandjina Rain Spirit by Lily Karadada

Lily Karadada  |  Wandjina Rain Spirit

Jap 015823  |  ochre on canvas  |  120 x 90 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

Jilamara by Geraldine Pilakui

Geraldine Pilakui   |  Jilamara

Jap 015750  |  natural ochres on canvas  |  150 x 120 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

Three Wandjina by Lily Karadada

Lily Karadada  |  Three Wandjina

Jap 004002  |  ochre on plyboard  |  120 x 90 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

Kunawarritji by Rover Thomas

Rover Thomas  |  Kunawarritji

Jap 006145  |  ochre on Arches paper  |  65 x 51 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

Nyilla Rockhole by Willie Kew

Willie Kew  |  Nyilla Rockhole

Jap 006302  |  ochre on canvas  |  115 x 96 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

Boomoondoo River by Beerbee Mungnari

Beerbee Mungnari  |  Boomoondoo River

Jap 019366  |  ochre on canvas  |  120 x 90 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

Gwali-wali Country – Ord River by Jack Britten

Jack Britten  |  Gwali-wali Country – Ord River

Jap 019369  |  ochre on canvas  |  80 x 60 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

Texas Rockhole by Charlene Carrington

Charlene Carrington  |  Texas Rockhole

Jap 011929  |  ochre on linen  |  160 x 140 cm ditych

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

Carved Figure by Arnhemland carving

Arnhemland carving  |  Carved Figure

Jap 013901  |  ochre on wood  |  height 46 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

Kurtal by David Downs

David Downs  |  Kurtal

Jap 009885  |  acrylic and ochre on board  |  120 x 60 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

Miyaringa Jilamara by Raelene Kerinauia Liddy

Raelene Kerinauia Liddy  |  Miyaringa Jilamara

Jap 018024  |  natural ochres on linen  |  120 x 90 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

Gnarrwalabine – Shining Rock by Shirlie Purdie

Shirlie Purdie  |  Gnarrwalabine – Shining Rock

Jap 018519  |  ochre on canvas  |  80 x 60 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

Jilamara by Brian Farmer Illortaminni

Brian Farmer Illortaminni  |  Jilamara

Jap 015739  |  natural ochres on canvas  |  110 x 85 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

All Around the Duncan by Jock Mosquito

Jock Mosquito  |  All Around the Duncan

Jap 005662  |  ochre on canvas  |  150 x 120 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

Fish Trap – Angujechiya by Hamish Garrgarrku (Karrkarrhba)

Hamish Garrgarrku (Karrkarrhba)  |  Fish Trap – Angujechiya

Jap 011569  |  ochre on bark  |  138 x 47 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

Toolookwuning by Jack Britten

Jack Britten  |  Toolookwuning

Jap 010412  |  ochre on board  |  68 x 40 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

Two Wandjinas and Echidnas by Jack Dale Mengenen

Jack Dale Mengenen  |  Two Wandjinas and Echidnas

Jap 003767  |  ochre and pigments on canvas  |  182 x 115 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

Luurn Creation Site at Nyirla by Willie Kew

Willie Kew  |  Luurn Creation Site at Nyirla

Jap 004933  |  ochre on canvas  |  145 x 124 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

North of Speewah by Tommy Carroll

Tommy Carroll  |  North of Speewah

Jap 000980  |  ochre on canvas  |  125 x 90 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

Yirrinkiripwoja – Body Paint Design by Michelle Bush

Michelle Bush   |  Yirrinkiripwoja – Body Paint Design

Jap 018023  |  natural ochres on canvas  |  120 x 60 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

Jilamara by Raymond Bush

Raymond Bush   |  Jilamara

Jap 018033  |  natural ochres on canvas  |  90 x 81 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

Wungul Hills by Tommy Carroll

Tommy Carroll  |  Wungul Hills

Jap 015728  |  ochre on canvas  |  180 x 120 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

Luurn Creation Site at Nyirla by Willie Kew

Willie Kew  |  Luurn Creation Site at Nyirla

Jap 004941  |  ochre on canvas  |  144 x 126 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

Waterhole at Barlpamarra by Hamish Garrgarrku (Karrkarrhba)

Hamish Garrgarrku (Karrkarrhba)  |  Waterhole at Barlpamarra

Jap 011576  |  ochre on bark  |  150 x 48 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

Wandjinas from Arawadi by Jack Dale Mengenen

Jack Dale Mengenen  |  Wandjinas from Arawadi

Jap 003590  |  ochre on canvas  |  94 x 122 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

The Wind at Mankolod by Hamish Garrgarrku (Karrkarrhba)

Hamish Garrgarrku (Karrkarrhba)  |  The Wind at Mankolod

Jap 011575  |  ochre on bark  |  156 x 44 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

Yoyi – Dance by Johnathon Bush

Johnathon Bush  |  Yoyi – Dance

Jap 018018  |  natural ochres on linen  |  120 x 90 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

Ngiya Jilamara VIII by Janice Murray Pungautiji

Janice Murray Pungautiji  |  Ngiya Jilamara VIII

Jap 015736  |  natural ochres on canvas  |  30 x 30 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

Loomoogoo – Blue Tongue Dreaming by Jack Britten

Jack Britten  |  Loomoogoo – Blue Tongue Dreaming

Jap 019367  |  ochre on canvas  |  120 x 90 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

Pwoja by Barbara Puruntatameri

Barbara Puruntatameri   |  Pwoja

Jap 018025  |  natural ochres on canvas  |  90 x 70 cm

Pending Payment

Spring Creek Bridge by Henry Wambini

Henry Wambini  |  Spring Creek Bridge

Jap 019370  |  ochre on linen  |  120 x 90 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

Boolanji – Fish Hole by Jack Britten

Jack Britten  |  Boolanji – Fish Hole

Jap 006148  |  ochre on Arches paper  |  105 x 65 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

Wandjinas – Iondra by Jack Dale Mengenen

Jack Dale Mengenen  |  Wandjinas – Iondra

Jap 004379  |  ochre & pigments on linen  |  200 x 115 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

Ngalyod – Rainbow Serpent by Hamish Garrgarrku (Karrkarrhba)

Hamish Garrgarrku (Karrkarrhba)  |  Ngalyod – Rainbow Serpent

Jap 011573  |  ochre on bark  |  132 x 50 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

Sugar Bag & Possum by J.B. Fisher

J.B. Fisher  |  Sugar Bag & Possum

Jap 004251  |  ochre on bark   |  131 x 50 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

Ngiya Jilamara II by Janice Murray Pungautiji

Janice Murray Pungautiji  |  Ngiya Jilamara II

Jap 015735  |  natural ochres on linen  |  30 x 30 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

Spearhead Dreaming – Jimbirla by Marcia Purdie

Marcia Purdie  |  Spearhead Dreaming – Jimbirla

Jap 011299  |  ochre on canvas  |  61 x 46 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

Argula Djunba – Dance Board by Jack Dale Mengenen

Jack Dale Mengenen  |  Argula Djunba – Dance Board

Jap 006401  |  ochre on board  |  139 x 92 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

Wandjina-Undu Yali Gidi by Jack Dale Mengenen

Jack Dale Mengenen  |  Wandjina-Undu Yali Gidi

Jap 003597  |  ochre & pigments on linen  |  204 x 70 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

Magpie Geese by Jimmy Djelminy

Jimmy Djelminy   |  Magpie Geese

Jap 000295  |  ochre on paper  |  105 x 75 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

Old Texas Way by Churchill Cann

Churchill Cann  |  Old Texas Way

Jap 018516  |  ochre on linen  |  120 x 120 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

Nyilla Rockhole by Willie Kew

Willie Kew  |  Nyilla Rockhole

Jap 006304  |  ochre on canvas  |  117 x 96 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

Inverway by Ned Johns

Ned Johns  |  Inverway

Jap 000816  |  ochre on linen  |  118 x 88 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

Maran Maranji Rockhole by Hector Jandanay

Hector Jandanay  |  Maran Maranji Rockhole

Jap 012536  |  ochre on canvas  |  90 x 60 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

Jilamara by Dymphna Kerinaiua

Dymphna Kerinaiua   |  Jilamara

Jap 015751  |  natural ochres on canvas  |  88 x 56 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

Jilamara by Dymphna Kerinaiua

Dymphna Kerinaiua   |  Jilamara

Jap 018028  |  natural ochres on linen  |  200 x 60 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

Madi by Malalkapuy Munyarryun

Malalkapuy Munyarryun  |  Madi

Jap 004252  |  ochre on bark   |  125 x 49 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

Untitled by Hector Jandanay

Hector Jandanay  |  Untitled

Jap 010496  |  ochre on linen  |  135 x 122 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

Pukamani Pole by Tess Tipungwuti

Tess Tipungwuti  |  Pukamani Pole

Jap 010554  |  carved wood & ochre  |  height 70 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

Big Travelling Story at Nyirla by Willie Kew

Willie Kew  |  Big Travelling Story at Nyirla

Jap 005752  |  ochre on canvas  |  145 x 125 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

Wandjina and Baby by Jack Dale Mengenen

Jack Dale Mengenen  |  Wandjina and Baby

Jap 003598  |  Ochre and pigment on canvas   |  182 x 63 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

Untitled by Billy Thomas

Billy Thomas  |  Untitled

Jap 010503  |  ochre on canvas  |  70 x 50 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

Texas Rockhole by Charlene Carrington

Charlene Carrington  |  Texas Rockhole

Jap 011929  |  ochre on linen  |  160 x 70 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

Untitled by Mabel Juli

Mabel Juli  |  Untitled

Jap 009690  |  ochre on canvas  |  61 x 76 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

Archie Creek Rugan by Phyllis Thomas

Phyllis Thomas  |  Archie Creek Rugan

Jap 004234  |  ochre on canvas  |  92 x 92 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

Mistake Creek by Nancy Nodea

Nancy Nodea  |  Mistake Creek

Jap 012213  |  ochre on canvas  |  100 x 80 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

Jilamara – Body Paint Design by Ian Cook

Ian Cook  |  Jilamara – Body Paint Design

Jap 009676  |  ochre on linen  |  48 x 48 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

Australian pigments mined from the earth gave Aboriginal artists their original palette of colours created by the iron content in the soils. Much of the central and northern landscape is dominated by the red earth that is the result of the oxidised iron content in the soil. When found in soft porous form the ochres could be broken and crushed to produce pigments that were easy to use for painting , for body decoration, and for colouring artefacts and fibres used for decoration.

The colours available in ochre form varied from deep purple reds to red-browns, orange-reds, pinks and yellows. Ochres that were sourced as yellows could be heated in the fire to turn to a darker orange tone. Colours were traded across the Australian continent, and highly prized deep reds were moved along trade routes across the Central desert. The ochres were associated with ceremonies where the dancers marked symbolic designs on their bodies to identify clan groups and totems.

The ochre colours were complemented by the use of white from calcium based pipe clay and black from ground charcoal, both these colours being part of the original traditional colour palette but not from an ochre base.

Communities in the north of Australia continue to use the ochre colours in their artwork, most notably from the Kimberley – Warmun, Mowanjum, Kalumburu – and from Arnhem Land – Oenpelli, Maningrida, Yirrkala, Tiwi Islands and other coastal communities. The colours have a warm earthy tone and carry the texture of the earth, as well as being capable of being used for very fine line work by skilled artists. Contemporary artists use ochre on canvas, paper and bark and the styles vary greatly according to the region and culture where the artists reside.