Born circa 1928 at Kaylilwarra south Warbuton in the Gibson Desert of Western Australia, Barney Campbell’s country cover some 150 km around the Lake MacDonald region, a vast area that encompasses many salt lakes and wells both east and west of Kintore. Contained within this region are a number of traditional sites that Barney paints.
The paintings by Barney Campbell possess a maze of sinuous lines and a wonderful subtlety that are often characterised by a series of roundels that seem to float in the maze of sumptuous movement. Such iconography is profoundly reminiscent of ceremonial body designs and traditional ground drawings.
One of the main themes that Barney Campbell depicts in his artworks is that of the Tingari Cycle. Whilst events associated with the Tingari Cycle are of a secret and sacred nature and few details are given, we are privileged to be told through his art what the works represents and to appreciate and enjoy the skill of the artist’s artwork.
In this work Barney has depicted the sites in which young boys were taken for their initiation ceremonies.
The Tingari are a group of men of the Dreaming (creation era), who travelled over vast stretches of the country, performing rituals and creating and shaping particular sites. The Tingari men were accompanied by novices and usually followed by Tingari Women. Their travels and adventures are enshrined in the song cycles. These legends form part of the teachings of the post-initiatory youths today, as well as providing explanations for contemporary customs.
All Text & Images © Gallery Gondwana
01 September - 31 December 2018
This exhibition on Barney Campbell Tjakamarra is part of a series titled “Men of High Degree”, that look back at some of the works of some extraordinary male aboriginal artists who leave an indelible legacy upon the history of ‘Indigenous Art’. In these works he did for Gallery Gondwana, Barney…
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