Bob Burruwal

Bob  Burruwal

Biography

“When I was a young man, I used to paint bark, make dancing belts, clap sticks and didjeridu. My parents were not artists. My father was a clever man. He taught me a lot of things about our way, our stories.”   – Bob Burruwal

Bob Burruwal, born in 1952, is a celebrated Rembarrnga artist, who lives and works at Ankabadbirri, an outstation, close to Maningrida.  He performs an important role in ceremony and song with in his clan.

Burruwal along with his partner, Lena Yarinkura, have led the innovation in fibre art from Arnhem land which has received local and international critical acclaim for the better part of three decades. 

Common subjects of his work include the wurlga, wurum (fish-increasing) and namorrorddo spirits. Since the early 1990’s his practice has extended into installation, creating scenes from stories handed down to him. Occasionally creating major installations  with Lena Yarinkura,  narrative is a  key feature of his work.  His  1994 collaboration with Yarinkura, ‘Family Drama’, won the  prestigious Wandjuk Marika Memorial Three-Dimensional Award at the 11th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award. 

Burruwal is also well know for his mako (didgeridoo), prized for the artist’s fine selection of wood and their resulting acoustics.

His work has also appeared in numerous solo & group exhibitions  and in major institutional shows nationally and internationally.  His work in held in public and private collections around the world.

Lena Yarinkura and Bob Burruwal in the unDisclosed installation, NGA. Image credit: NGA

Languages

Rembarrnga

From

Bolkdjam

Community

Maningrida : NT

Moiety

Duwa

Date of birth

1952-01-01

Clan

Balngarra

Artwork media

Ceremony, Stringybark (Eucalyptus Tetradonta) with Ochre Pigment and PVA Fixative, Lorrkon – Burial Pole

Artwork themes

Artworks


Past Exhibitions

Group

  • 2017
    34th National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Arts Awards, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin, NT
  • 2016
    Salon16, Charles Darwin University Art Gallery, Darwin, NT
  • 2016
    Today Tomorrow Yesterday, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, NSW
  • 2016
    Owen Yalandja, Bob Burruwal, Jack Nawilil: New Yawkyawk Spirits and Sculptures, Annandale Gallery, Sydney, Australia
  • 2016
    Luminous World: Contemporary Art from the Wesfarmers Collection, National Art School Gallery, Canberra, ACT
  • 2014
    Maningrida, Paul Johnstone Gallery, Darwin, NT
  • 2014
    Barks, Spirit Figures, Lorrkon and Ceremonial Poles, Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne, VIC
  • 2012
    unDisclosed: 2nd National Indigenous Art Triennial, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, ACT
  • 2012
    Dream Catchers, Coo-ee Aboriginal Art Gallery, Sydney
  • 2012
    Maningrida Group Show, Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne, VIC
  • 2011
    The Dreaming Changes Shape, Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne, Australia
  • 2010
    Lena Yarinkura and Bob Burruwal, Framed Gallery, Darwin, Australia
  • 2010
    Gungamuk - Bob Burruwal & Lena Yarinkura, Sheahan Galleries, Sydney, NSW
  • 2010
    Best of Maningrida, Annandale Galleries, Sydney, Australia
  • 2009
    Orche - A Study in Materiality, Short Street Gallery, Broome, WA
  • 2008
    Palya Art at Mary Place, Mary Place, Sydney, NSW
  • 2008
    Interwoven, Indigenart, Perth, WA
  • 2008
    Maningrida Survey, Short Street Gallery, Broome, WA
  • 2006
    Peter Bailie Art Award, Flinders University City Gallery, Adelaide, SA
  • 2005
    22nd National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Arts Awards, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin, NT
  • 2004
    Divas of the Desert:Maningrida, Minymaku, Gallery Gondwana, Alice Springs, NT
  • 2004
    Maningrida Fibre, Bandigan art, Sydney, NSW
  • 2004
    Fibre and sculptures, Indigenart, Fremantle, WA, Indigenart, Fremantle, WA
  • 2004
    Maningrida Recent Works, William Mora Galleries, Melbourne, VIC
  • 2004
    Bob Burruwal & Lena Yarinkura, Annandale Galleries, Sydney, NSW
  • 2003
    The Visit, Annandale galleries, Sydney, NSW
  • 2003
    Next Generation, William Mora Galleries, Melbourne, VIC
  • 2003
    An exhibition of Rembarrnga artists, Short Street Gallery, Broome, WA
  • 2003
    Artists in Residence Exhibition, Coomalie Cultural Centre, NT
  • 2003
    Organic forms in fibre, Organic forms in fibre, Aboriginal and Pacific Arts, Sydney, NSW
  • 2003
    Maningrida Threads, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, NSW
  • 2003
    Dreamtime, contemorary aboriginal art, Cankarjev Dom Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • 2002
    Frisson, 14th Tamworth Fibre Textile Biennal, Manly, NSW
  • 2002
    Wild nature in contemporary Australian art and craft, Jam Factory, Adelaide, SA
  • 2002
    Barks in the spotlight, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  • 2002
    Spirit of Arnhemland, Redback Art Gallery, Qld
  • 2001
    Vital fluids, Helen Maxwell Gallery, Canberra, ACT
  • 2001
    18th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin, NT
  • 2001
    Arnhem Land Carvings and Bark Paintings, Hogarth Galleries, Sydney, NSW
  • 2001
    Out of the Mould: An exhibition of first works in bronze and aluminium, Gallery Pizzi, Melbourne, VIC
  • 2000
    Maningrida, Framed Gallery, Darwin, NT
  • 1999
    My Country: Australische Aboriginal Kunst, Brandweer Kazerne, Utrecht, Netherlands
  • 1999
    Organic Forms, Aboriginal and Pacific Art Gallery, Sydney, NSW
  • 1998
    Armlinks, Armlinks Touring Australia
  • 1998
    Pandanus and Paperbark, Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne, VIC
  • 1998
    Spirits of the Dreaming Jarraman Arts Aboriginal Corporation,, National Aboriginal Cultural Centre, Sydney, NSW
  • 1997
    14th Telstra National Aboriginal and Tores Strait Islander Art Award Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin, NT
  • 1997
    Metamorphosis, Venice Biennale Palazzo Papadopoli, Venice, Italy
  • 1997
    Circles About the Body, University of Tasmania, Travelling Exhibition
  • 1996
    Journey of the Birds, Raintree Fine Art Gallery, Darwin, NT
  • 1996
    Maningrida Exhibition, Indigenart, Subiaco, WA
  • 1996
    Spirits of the Dreaming, Raintree Fine Art Gallery, Darwin, NT
  • 1996
    Dreaming: Aboriginal Art from Australia, Galerie Kouwenhoven, Delft, Netherlands
  • 1996
    The Language of Place, The Language of Place Framed Gallery, Darwin, NT
  • 1995
    Maningrida:The Language of Weaving, A.E.T.A Touring Exhibition throughout Australia and New Zealand
  • 1990
    Contemporary Aboriginal Art 1990 From Australia, Third Eye Centre, Glasgow, Scotland; toured to Swansea and Manchester, UK
  • 1989
    The Sixth National Aboriginal Art Award Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin, NT
  • 1989
    Survey of Aboriginal Art: Bark Paintings, The Bloomfield Galleries, Paddington, NSW
  • 1982
    Aboriginal Art at the Top, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin, NT

Collections

  • Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia
  • Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin, Australia
  • National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Australia
  • National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia
  • Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, Australia
  • Walonia Aboriginal Art, The Netherlands
  • Aimee Proost private collection, Australia
  • Helen Read Collection, Darwin, Australia
  • Museum of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia
  • Musee des Confluences, Lyon
  • Aboriginal Art Museum, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  • Museum D'Histoire Naturelle de Lyon, France
  • National Maritime Museum, Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia