Art Sets.

Milingimbi artists

By the Art Gallery of NSW

There are particular moments in the history of art where exceptional things happen: a certain alignment occurs, artists come together and their collaborative efforts and unique vision give rise to a distinct school of expression whose influence is keenly felt.

Such a moment occurred in the 1950s on the small island of Yurriwi, more commonly known as Milingimbi, off the coast of Arnhem Land in northern Australia.

Gathered in groups in the deep shade of tamarind trees along the beach, artists of varying ages and experience worked alongside one another, their individual approaches and shared visual language resulting in a distinct style of painting of a quality and scale never before seen.

These artists - including Binyinyuwuy, Dawidi, Dayngangan, Djäwa, Djimbarrdjimbarrwuy, Lipundja and Makani - created exquisite bark paintings with jewel-like surfaces that capture the complexities of land, sea, sky and cultural inheritance in the one seemingly abstracted image.

Click on a profile to read about that artist and see his works in the Art Gallery of NSW collection.