Barney Ellaga is a senior law man of the Alawa community. He has intimate knowledge of his traditional homelands and it is this, Alawa Country, that his work most represents.
In a response to the land of his birth Barney uses extraordinary colour complements to contour Alawa terrains. His fresh and dynamic approach gives impact and power to these abstract pieces, and as a consequence his work is in high demand.
Since the introduction of acrylic paints and canvas Aboriginal art has transformed from traditional symbols representing ceremonial ritual and story to an international phenomenon exploring the realms of contemporary abstraction. Barney Ellaga has mastered this introduced medium.
The Artist’s new paintings consist of soft, stippled lines of colour where each line represents a different aspect of his Country. This could be either a spiritual or physical feature of the land. The lines of colour pay homage to the many ancient rock and cave paintings in the Alawa region where the stippled, feathery lines represent the unevenness and roughness of the cave or rock walls. This is a very diverse part of the country with long winding rivers, lush vegetation and sweeping, sparse plains and Ellaga’s paintings reflect this complexity.
Ellaga’s beautiful paintings evoke rainbows just after a clearing light shower of rain when the soft sunlight breaks through the clouds, illuminating different parts of the landscape. His paintings have a soft inner glow that throw a revealing light upon his Country and Dreamings and effortlessly bridge the gap between the traditional rock paintings of his Country and modern “Abstract” Art. Ellaga’s use of light and colour is inspirational with his effortless mix of saturated blues, reds, purples and yellows of varying hues and tones.