Artists

Barney Campbell Tjakamarra

Barney Campbell Tjakamarra is of the Ngaanyatjarra language group, born circa 1928 at Kaylilwarra south Warbuton in the Gibson Desert of Western Australia and is a well respected Pintupi Law-Man.

Region: Walungurru (Kintore), Western Desert

DOB: c 1928 - December 2006

Significant Country: Western Desert

Language: Pitjantjatjara; Language Group: Pintupi/Ngaanyatjarra

Community: Mt Liebig, NT


Barney Campbell Tjakamarra is of the Ngaanyatjarra language group, born circa 1928 at Kaylilwarra south Warbuton in the Gibson Desert of Western Australia and is a well-respected Pintupi Law-Man. Barney’s Mother and Father died in the bush when he was young, so he was “grown up” by relatives, his second mother and father. It was his uncle who took him to Papunya where he became a man.

Following a very traditional lifestyle, and a highly respected elder, Barney Campbell was a proud and confident ambassador of his people. He was one of the founding members of the Papunya Tula art movement in the 1970’s.

His country cover some 150 km around the Lake MacDonald region, an area that encompasses many salt lakes and wells both east and west of Kintore.

As a senior law man and elder, Barney had the right to paint the Tingari Cycle stories. These song cycles / creation stories form part of the teachings of the initiated youth, providing the basis for contemporary customs. Many of the stories relate to the sacred sites around the Lake MacDonald area. These creation stories tell of the epic journey of the ancestors, the Tingari Men and Women who travelled through the land in the Dreamtime (Tjukurrpa) creating particular sites and teaching Aboriginal law.

Barney often worked side by side with Willy Tjungurrayi at Kintore, both are serious painters. Barney’s works faithfully portrays his ‘dreamings’ in a meticulous manner and the ‘classical’ Pintupi style of work.

When working in the Gallery Gondwana Studios, Barney could often be heard singing in language by the staff, immersed in the ritual of painting his creation stories.

Barney married Maisie Campbell Napaltjarri, who is also an artist, and had four children with her.


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