Red

Red remains one of the basic colours of all art, representing blood, land, life & fire – Aboriginal artists use both earth red ochre and modern red colours.

 

Women’s Ceremony by Judy Napangardi Martin

Judy Napangardi Martin  |  Women’s Ceremony

Jap 000487  |  acrylic on canvas  |  125x85 cm

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Yidarki by Kurun Warun

Kurun Warun  |  Yidarki

Jap 016159  |  acrylic on linen  |  179 x 119 cm

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Umutju by Tommy Watson

Tommy Watson  |  Umutju

Jap 016336  |  acrylic on linen  |  200 x 117 cm

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Irunytju by Nellie Stewart

Nellie Stewart  |  Irunytju

Jap 016545  |  acrylic on canvas  |  200 x 120 cm

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Tingari by Thomas Tjapaltjarri

Thomas Tjapaltjarri  |  Tingari

Jap 016329  |  acrylic on canvas  |  151 x 122 cm

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Tingari by Thomas Tjapaltjarri & Doreen Bennett

Thomas Tjapaltjarri & Doreen Bennett  |  Tingari

Jap 012370  |  acrylic on linen  |  122 x 30 cm

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Wati Kutjara by Ian Rictor

Ian Rictor  |  Wati Kutjara

Jap 014224  |  acrylic on linen  |  200 x 137 cm

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Home Country – Great Sandy Desert by Wangkatjungka Collaboration

Wangkatjungka Collaboration  |  Home Country – Great Sandy Desert

Jap 001901  |  acrylic on canvas  |  173 x 114 cm

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Karna Kurlang- Digging Stick Ceremony by Judy Napangardi Martin

Judy Napangardi Martin  |  Karna Kurlang- Digging Stick Ceremony

Jap 000415  |  acrylic on canvas  |  124 x 85 cm

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Bush Turkey Dreaming by Cowboy Loy Pwerl

Cowboy Loy Pwerl  |  Bush Turkey Dreaming

Jap 015147  |  acrylic on linen  |  120 x 60 cm

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Marrapinti by Lorna Ward Napanangka

Lorna Ward Napanangka  |  Marrapinti

Jap 011901  |  acrylic on linen  |  60 x 46 cm

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Muntati – Grandmother’s Country by Gracie Ward Napaltjarri

Gracie Ward Napaltjarri  |  Muntati – Grandmother’s Country

Jap 014404  |  acrylic on linen  |  120 x 60 cm

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Bush Medicine Leaves by Gloria Petyarre

Gloria Petyarre  |  Bush Medicine Leaves

Jap 012639  |  acrylic on linen  |  204 x 140 cm

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Earth Images by Tarisse King

Tarisse King  |  Earth Images

Jap 016135  |  acrylic on linen  |  160 x 91 cm

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My Country by Tommy Watson

Tommy Watson  |  My Country

Jap 013288  |  acrylic on linen  |  60 x 60 cm

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Women’s Ceremony by Narpulla Scobie Napurrula

Narpulla Scobie Napurrula  |  Women’s Ceremony

Jap 011378  |  acrylic on linen  |  60 x 46 cm

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Tjiturrulpa – Father by Eileen Napaltjarri

Eileen Napaltjarri  |  Tjiturrulpa – Father

Jap 004044  |  acrylic on linen  |  184 x 122 cm

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Fire and Water by Yondee Shane Hansen

Yondee Shane Hansen  |  Fire and Water

Jap 015450  |  acrylic on canvas  |  122 x 89 cm

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Piyurr by Biddee Baadjo

Biddee Baadjo  |  Piyurr

Jap 005671  |  acrylic on canvas  |  117 x 96 cm

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Tingari – Karrkurritinytja by George Ward Tjungurrayi

George Ward Tjungurrayi  |  Tingari – Karrkurritinytja

Jap 010728  |  acrylic on linen  |  90 x 90 cm

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Minyma Tjukurrpa by Marlene Young Nungurrayi

Marlene Young Nungurrayi  |  Minyma Tjukurrpa

Jap 011896  |  acrylic on linen  |  60 x 46 cm

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Parntulja by Biddee Baadjo

Biddee Baadjo  |  Parntulja

Jap 001731  |  acrylic on canvas  |  84 x 63 cm

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Ngaminya – Ancestral Country by Yinarupa Gibson Nangala

Yinarupa Gibson Nangala  |  Ngaminya – Ancestral Country

Jap 010625  |  acrylic in linen  |  60 x 30 cm

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Warlpa by Penny K Lyons

Penny K Lyons  |  Warlpa

Jap 005552  |  acrylic on canvas  |  107 x 79 cm

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Dry River Bed by Kurun Warun

Kurun Warun  |  Dry River Bed

Jap 014894  |  acrylic on linen  |  172 x 48 cm

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The Land by Tarisse King

Tarisse King  |  The Land

Jap 014976  |  acrylic on linen  |  121 x 120 cm

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West MacDonnell Ranges by Ewald Namatjira

Ewald Namatjira  |  West MacDonnell Ranges

Jap 012395  |  Watercolour  |  29 x 18.5 cm

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Marrapinti by Lorna Ward Napanangka

Lorna Ward Napanangka  |  Marrapinti

Jap 011693  |  acrylic on linen  |  60 x 46 cm

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Tingari by Walala Tjapaltjarri

Walala Tjapaltjarri  |  Tingari

Jap 012512  |  acrylic on canvas  |  118 x 61 cm

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Gulun Duen Springs by Jack Dale Mengenen

Jack Dale Mengenen  |  Gulun Duen Springs

Jap 010719  |  ochre on canvas  |  180 x 120 cm

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Yam Dreaming by Anna Petyarre

Anna Petyarre  |  Yam Dreaming

Jap 011194  |  acrylic on linen  |  182 x 121 cm

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Piyurr by Biddee Baadjo

Biddee Baadjo  |  Piyurr

Jap 006310  |  acrylic on canvas  |  117 x 97 cm

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Muntati – Grandmother’s Country by Gracie Ward Napaltjarri

Gracie Ward Napaltjarri  |  Muntati – Grandmother’s Country

Jap 015712  |  acrylic on linen  |  91 x 76 cm

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Country – Fire Series by Kudditji Kngwarreye

Kudditji Kngwarreye  |  Country – Fire Series

Jap 005454  |  acrylic on linen  |  180 x 120 cm

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Five Wandjinas by Jack Dale Mengenen

Jack Dale Mengenen  |  Five Wandjinas

Jap 004375  |  ochre & pigments on linen  |  205 x 144 cm

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Earth Images by Tarisse King

Tarisse King  |  Earth Images

Jap 016136  |  acrylic on linen  |  120 x 100 cm

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Bush Turkey Dreaming by Cowboy Loy Pwerl

Cowboy Loy Pwerl  |  Bush Turkey Dreaming

Jap 015299  |  acrylic on linen  |  200 x 120 cm

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Wind Dreaming and Ceremonial Grounds by Jorna Newberry

Jorna Newberry  |  Wind Dreaming and Ceremonial Grounds

Jap 008429  |  acrylic on linen  |  183 x 121 cm

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Karna Kurlang- Digging Stick Ceremony by Judy Napangardi Martin

Judy Napangardi Martin  |  Karna Kurlang- Digging Stick Ceremony

Jap 000420  |  acrylic on canvas  |  175 x 84 cm

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Tingari by Thomas Tjapaltjarri

Thomas Tjapaltjarri  |  Tingari

Jap 015104  |  acrylic on canvas  |  180 x 122 cm

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Jalala – Whirlwind by Jack Dale Mengenen and Biddy Dale

Jack Dale Mengenen and Biddy Dale  |  Jalala – Whirlwind

Jap 003596  |  ochre & pigments on canvas   |  92 x 128 cm

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Body Paint by Kurun Warun

Kurun Warun  |  Body Paint

Jap 011430  |  acrylic on canvas  |  174 x 50 cm

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Wind Dreaming – Utantja by Jorna Newberry

Jorna Newberry  |  Wind Dreaming – Utantja

Jap 008321  |  acrylic on linen  |  150 x 90 cm

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Bush Medicine Leaves by Abie Loy Kemarre

Abie Loy Kemarre  |  Bush Medicine Leaves

Jap 011855  |  acrylic on linen  |  120 x 90 cm

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Low Tide – Marks in the Sand by Rosella Namok

Rosella Namok  |  Low Tide – Marks in the Sand

Jap 011624  |  acrylic on canvas  |  108 x 88 cm

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Thagang Poonart by Kurun Warun

Kurun Warun  |  Thagang Poonart

Jap 014892  |  acrylic on linen  |  172 x 48 cm

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Alhalkere – My Country by Kudditji Kngwarreye

Kudditji Kngwarreye  |  Alhalkere – My Country

Jap 007643  |  acrylic on linen  |  250 x 180 cm

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Hunting for Bush Tucker by Gracie Morton Pwerle

Gracie Morton Pwerle  |  Hunting for Bush Tucker

Jap 015360  |  acrylic on canvas   |  95 x 111 cm

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Desert Wild Flowers by Lanita Numina

Lanita Numina  |  Desert Wild Flowers

Jap 015899  |  acrylic on canvas  |  140 x 88 cm

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Wild Flowers by Sharon Numina

Sharon Numina  |  Wild Flowers

Jap 015898  |  acrylic on canvas  |  144 x 97 cm

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Piyurr by Biddee Baadjo

Biddee Baadjo  |  Piyurr

Jap 005672  |  acrylic on canvas  |  117 x 96 cm

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Desert Designs 2 by Mr Lewis

Mr Lewis  |  Desert Designs 2

Jap 009915  |  acrylic on canvas board  |  50 x 40 cm

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Yam Leaf by Dulcie Long Pwerle

Dulcie Long Pwerle  |  Yam Leaf

Jap 011111  |  acrylic on canvas  |  150 x 92 cm

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Jalala – Marking Stones by Jack Dale Mengenen

Jack Dale Mengenen  |  Jalala – Marking Stones

Jap 004773  |  ochre & pigments on canvas   |  183 x 140 cm

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Mountain Devil Lizard Dreaming by Gloria Petyarre

Gloria Petyarre  |  Mountain Devil Lizard Dreaming

Jap 015879  |  acrylic on linen  |  97 x 44 cm

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Wandjina and Jalala by Jack Dale Mengenen

Jack Dale Mengenen  |  Wandjina and Jalala

Jap 004378  |  ochre & pigments on linen  |  202 x 112 cm

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Hunting for Bush Tucker by Gracie Morton Pwerle

Gracie Morton Pwerle  |  Hunting for Bush Tucker

Jap 015027  |  acrylic on canvas  |  60 x 60 cm

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Five Waterholes from Kirriwirri to Kupangkurlu by Nada Rawlins

Nada Rawlins  |  Five Waterholes from Kirriwirri to Kupangkurlu

Jap 002676  |  acrylic on canvas  |  143 x 103 cm

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Awelye & Bush Melon by Betty Mbitjana

Betty Mbitjana  |  Awelye & Bush Melon

Jap 010319  |  acrylic on linen  |  90 x 90 cm

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Tjintjintjin by Katherine Marshall Nakamarra

Katherine Marshall Nakamarra  |  Tjintjintjin

Jap 013899  |  acrylic on canvas  |  148 x 90 cm

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Tjiturrulpa – Sandhill Country by Eileen Napaltjarri

Eileen Napaltjarri  |  Tjiturrulpa – Sandhill Country

Jap 004043  |  acrylic on linen  |  122 x 122 cm

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Tracks by Rosella Namok

Rosella Namok  |  Tracks

Jap 015639  |  acrylic on canvas  |  111 x 86 cm

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Donkey Wagons and Wandjinas by Jack Dale Mengenen

Jack Dale Mengenen  |  Donkey Wagons and Wandjinas

Jap 006406  |  ochre on linen  |  200 x 134 cm

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Womens Ceremony by Kim Butler Napurrula

Kim Butler Napurrula  |  Womens Ceremony

Jap 012210  |  acrylic on linen  |  151 x 90 cm

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Women’s Ceremony by Debra Young Nakamarra

Debra Young Nakamarra  |  Women’s Ceremony

Jap 012003  |  acrylic on linen  |  60 x 46 cm

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Tingari by Thomas Tjapaltjarri

Thomas Tjapaltjarri  |  Tingari

Jap 010068  |  acrylic on canvas  |  60 x 30 cm

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Anaty – Bush Yam by Jeannie Mills Pwerle

Jeannie Mills Pwerle  |  Anaty – Bush Yam

Jap 012971  |  acrylic on linen  |  60 x 60 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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Ngaminya by Yinarupa Gibson Nangala

Yinarupa Gibson Nangala  |  Ngaminya

Jap 013562  |  acrylic on linen  |  126 x 119 cm

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Karna Kurlang- Digging Stick Ceremony by Judy Napangardi Martin

Judy Napangardi Martin  |  Karna Kurlang- Digging Stick Ceremony

Jap 000414  |  acrylic on canvas  |  124 x 85 cm

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Minyma Kutjara Tjukurpa by Kantjupayi Benson

Kantjupayi Benson  |  Minyma Kutjara Tjukurpa

Jap 010497  |  acrylic on canvas  |  151 x 151 cm

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Journey Out by Fiona Omeenyo

Fiona Omeenyo  |  Journey Out

Jap 013701  |  acrylic on canvas  |  109 x 104 cm

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Women Drinking at Waterhole by Mary McLean

Mary McLean  |  Women Drinking at Waterhole

Jap 011216  |  acrylic on paper  |  85 x 65 cm

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Red

The colour red is one of the primary and essential colours of art for all of mankind. It traditionally represents blood and therefore life, as well as the earth and fire – the most lively aspects of existence. Red ochre was widely traded across the Australian continent from locations where the deepest red colours were found. Red ochre was used in ceremonies, in rock art and to decorate valued artefacts and ceremonial items. The four basic colours used and extracted from earth pigments were red, white, yellow and black.

Access to modern artist colours is the 20th century led indigenous artists to experiment and to add to the colour palette that they traditionally used. Many shades of red including the manufactured and intense bright reds were taken up by artists. This expansion in the use of red hues increased from the 1980s onwards. Many artists found that the colours of the desert, with its heat and light were well presented using the range of red colours available.

Major Pintupi artists like George Ward Tjungurrayi, Thomas Tjapaltjarri and Patrick Tjungurrayi use red to create the intricate Tingari patterns that represent aspects of their Dreamings, expressed as structures of ceremonial sites and songlines. Ronnie Tjampitjinpa and Jorna Newberry used red in a symbolic way in their Fire Dreaming paintings, while other desert artists like Yinarupa Gibson, Kudditji Kngwarreye, Rosemary Petyarre and Biddee Baadjo  use red to give extra power to their designs. Charmaine Pwerle has used red to express the Awelye Body Paint design and Jack Dale Mengenen has used red to give strength to his Wandjina spirit designs.