Ochre

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

 

Kalanganaring – Ord River Country by Jack Britten

Jack Britten  |  Kalanganaring – Ord River Country

Jap 020692  |  ochre on board  |  80 x 70 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

Cyclone Tracy – Lightning Bolt by Rover Thomas

Rover Thomas  |  Cyclone Tracy – Lightning Bolt

Jap 022209  |  ochre on linen  |  195 x 113 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

Kulkunji – Chicken Hawk Dreaming by Jack Britten

Jack Britten  |  Kulkunji – Chicken Hawk Dreaming

Jap 020694  |  ochre on board  |  75 x 38 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

All the Hills at Nyirla by Willie Kew

Willie Kew  |  All the Hills at Nyirla

Jap 003553  |  ochre on canvas  |  141 x 105 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

Palm Vallery, Bungle Bungles by Sade Carrington

Sade Carrington  |  Palm Vallery, Bungle Bungles

Jap 020854  |  ochre on linen   |  90 x 60 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

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

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

Biganinny Gorge – Bungle Bungles by Freddie Timms

Freddie Timms  |  Biganinny Gorge – Bungle Bungles

Jap 022597  |  ochre on linen  |  120 x 120 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

Myanji by Jack Britten

Jack Britten  |  Myanji

Jap 019539  |  ochre on canvas  |  100 x 90 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

Nyirla – My Country by Willie Kew

Willie Kew  |  Nyirla – My Country

Jap 003555  |  ochre on canvas  |  140 x 106 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

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 Raymond Bush

Raymond Bush   |  Jilamara

Jap 018033  |  natural ochres on canvas  |  90 x 81 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

Djunba Dancer by Jack Dale Mengenen

Jack Dale Mengenen  |  Djunba Dancer

Jap 006407  |  ochre on linen  |  200 x 130 cm

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

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

Wandjina by Lily Karadada

Lily Karadada  |  Wandjina

Jap 021956  |  Ochre on canvas  |  132 x 90 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

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

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

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

Milliwiny Springs – Alice Downs by Jack Britten

Jack Britten  |  Milliwiny Springs – Alice Downs

Jap 018270  |  ochre on canvas  |  110 x 60 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

Lightning over Dabaruny Springs by Freddie Timms

Freddie Timms  |  Lightning over Dabaruny Springs

Jap 019538  |  ochre on linen  |  160 x 120 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

Kulyayi – Artist’s Country by Peter Goodijie

Peter Goodijie  |  Kulyayi – Artist’s Country

Jap 003181  |  ochre on canvas  |  85 x 84 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

Travelling in Nyirla Country by Willie Kew

Willie Kew  |  Travelling in Nyirla Country

Jap 003527  |  acrylic on canvas  |  111 x 84 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

Wandjina – Rain Spirit by Lily Karadada

Lily Karadada  |  Wandjina – Rain Spirit

Jap 019537  |  ochre on linen  |  122 x 92 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

Jeraguny – Norton Bore by Shirley Purdie

Shirley Purdie  |  Jeraguny – Norton Bore

Jap 022595  |  ochre on linen  |  120 x 90 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

Mustering Yards at Dora Creek by Jack Dale Mengenen

Jack Dale Mengenen  |  Mustering Yards at Dora Creek

Jap 003588  |  ochre & pigments on linen  |  128 x 128 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

Meeruny – Red Ochre Country by Henry Wambini

Henry Wambini  |  Meeruny – Red Ochre Country

Jap 020856  |  ochre on linen   |  100 x 95 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

Wandjina Rain Spirit by Lily Karadada

Lily Karadada  |  Wandjina Rain Spirit

Jap 015819  |  ochre on canvas  |  100 x 90 cm

Pending Payment

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

Barramundi Dreaming by Shirley Purdie

Shirley Purdie  |  Barramundi Dreaming

Jap 022596  |  acrylic on canvas  |  122 x 91 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

Toolookwuning by Jack Britten

Jack Britten  |  Toolookwuning

Jap 010412  |  ochre on board  |  68 x 40 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

Inverway by Ned Johns

Ned Johns  |  Inverway

Jap 000816  |  ochre on linen  |  118 x 88 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

Sunrise over Purnululu by Sade Carrington

Sade Carrington  |  Sunrise over Purnululu

Jap 000927  |  ochre on canvas  |  101 x 76 cm

Add To Enquiry Cart    ► How To buy

Round Hills at Nyirla by Willie Kew

Willie Kew  |  Round Hills at Nyirla

Jap 003462  |  acrylic on canvas  |  84 x 77 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

Kulama by Timothy Cook

Timothy Cook  |  Kulama

Jap 009441  |  ochre on linen  |  52 x 45 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

Nyirla Rockhole by Willie Kew

Willie Kew  |  Nyirla Rockhole

Jap 006304  |  ochre on canvas  |  117 x 96 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

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.

View paintings from Aboriginal Artists: