Gordon Barney Australina - East Kimberley, b. 1945

Ngarrangarni /Totem: Hill kangaroo, wedge tailed eagle


Gordon was born and grew up on Alice Downs Station. His father taught him how to do stock work and he became known as a skilled horse-breaker and buckjumper (Rodeo rider).


When he was working on Mabel Downs Station he met Shirley Purdie who became his wife. Shirley is a well known senior Warmun artist who encouraged Gordon to paint his country. Gordon started painting in 1998, often painting various hill lines located in his traditional country. Barney's sense of concentration and focus on country are often reflected in these landscapes.

An interesting aspect of Barney's work is that while he is working out bush as a stockman, he will often carry with him a saddle bag that he relegates to ochre collection. So at the end of his mustering stint, he will have a bagful of ochres that he has sourced as he has been riding through his country. His choice and application of ochres are unique to his paintings.


Gordon continues to work as a stockman and is well known in Warmun Community as a strong law and culture man and as an important ceremonial dancer.