They Are Meditating

Bark Paintings from the MCA's Arnott's Collection

Art Exhibition previously on at Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) in Australia. Published by M.C.A. on Friday 01 February 2008. Thursday 14 February 2008 to Sunday 03 August 2008.

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In June 1993 Arnott’s Biscuits Limited donated a rare and significant collection of bark paintings to the Museum of Contemporary Art. The collection comprises 271 barks dating from the late 1960s through to the early 1980s, by artists from Australia’s north.

Since the 1950s the practice of bark painting has responded to new contexts and has become increasingly pertinent to the outside world.

During this period, the generation of painters most commonly known and admired – some of whom are still working today – began their careers. This exhibition explores the richness of these early bark paintings alongside more recent practices by subsequent generations of artists from those communities.

The exhibition includes works by Mawalan, Malangi, Nabarrayal, Djawa, Nanyin and Jimmy Ngamjmira, as well as 41 works by Yirawala (c1897–1976).