Karen Napaljarri Barnes

Photography by Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation

Paintings by Karen Napaljarri Barnes feature bold lozenge-like shapes, dissonant colours, and distinctive subject matter – particularly birds. These creatures and their quizzical expressions are appealing and memorable.

Barnes has developed a distinctive style which extends an existing Warlukurlangu (Artists of Yuendumu) reputation for innovative colour. Her dreaming stories are from Mina Mina (her family are custodians of this country), but also Karnta Jukurrpa (Women’s Dreaming), Wakulyarri Jukurrpa (Wallaby Dreaming), Ngarlajiyi Jukurrpa (Bush Carrot Dreaming) and Ngatijirri Jukurrpa (Bugerigar Dreaming).

For Barnes, painting retains her closeness with these stories, the Indigenous Warlukurlangu traditions, and her family, particularly her grandmother, the late Judy Napangardi Watson.

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