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Student Works on Display

Eddie Moran - Flying Foxes 2

Eddie Moran – Flying Foxes – Acrylic on paper – Year 8 – Kempsey High School

The gallery currently has works on display by secondary school students from the Macleay Valley. In line with the NAIDOC Week theme of “Heal Country”, the students have created works related to their experience of living on Dunghutti lands. The images include both contemporary and traditional responses to the stories and experiences of the traditional custodians of the land, and also depictions of the native flora and fauna.

The works will be on display until the end of July. The gallery remains open during the most recent COVID-19 restrictions. We ask that you wear a mask when visiting.

Student Work 2


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Stunning New Artworks by Leo Leeko Wright

Leo Wright - Women's and Men's Business and a Safe Place - 170621

Leo Leeko Wright – Women’s and Men’s Business and a Safe Place – Acrylic on canvas

We have just received some beautiful large artworks by Dunghutti artist Leo Leeko Wright. These are detailed works full of symbolism related to traditional Aboriginal culture. These works would make a wonderful addition to your collection.

Leo Wright - Hands - 170621

Leo Leeko Wright – Hands – Acrylic on canvas

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Passing of Artist Beverley Hoskins

Spirit Dancers

Beverley Hoskins (Dudjira Barunbatai) –Spirit Dancers – Acrylic on canvas

The gallery is saddened by the passing of artist Beverley Hoskins. Beverley, who also had the artist name of Dudjira Barunbatai (Teacher of the Dreamtime), was a talented painter, sculptor and textile artist. Our condolences are extended to her family and many friends.

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Bush Foods and Medicine

Mabel Ritchie - Wattleseed - 61 x 45.5 - 190521 web

Mabel Ritchie – Wattleseed – Acrylic on canvas

We have new works in the gallery this week by established artist Mabel Ritchie. Mabel, whose last exhibition in the gallery was called dhipalayn – the Dunghutti work for bird, has more recently been looking at traditional bush food and medicines as her subject matter.

We look forward to welcoming new and returning visitors to see these and other exciting works in the gallery.

Mabel Ritchie - Ruby Saltbush 30x30 190521 web

Mabel Ritchie – Ruby Saltbush – Acrylic on canvas

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New Artworks in by Zalie Davison

Zalie Davison - Mud Flats II - 200421

Zalie Davison – Mud Flats II – Acrylic on Canvas

The gallery now has on display a series of new works by local Dunghutti artist Zalie Davison. Her works use abstract forms to reference the local landscapes of the Macleay River Valley. Zalie uses an interesting colour palette with soft blues, greens and light ochres that reinterpret the colours found in the local coastal landforms that are the basis for her works.

Come in and see these works and an outstanding selection of work by our local artists.

Zalie Davison - Stepping Stones - 050521

Zalie Davison – Stepping Stones – Acrylic on canvas

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New Artworks by Danielle Burford

Danielle Burford - Ocean Turtle and the Coral Sea - 170321

Danielle Burford – Ocean Turtle and the Coral Sea – Acrylic on canvas

The gallery is pleased to have a series of new works by prominent contemporary artist Danielle Burford. Her paintings showcase a unique combination of traditional and contemporary image making. often with unexpected, hidden imagery.

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Danielle Burford – Jelly – Acrylic on canvas

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Saltwater Freshwater Arts Alliance Win

Gus Saltwater Freshwater

Congratulations to Dunghutti artist Gus Kelly on winning the prestigious 2021 Saltwater Freshwater Arts Alliance Prize. The judge, Alison Williams from Wadjar Gallery at Corindi Beach, praised Gus’s technical skill with the difficult medium of charcoal drawing and referred to the emotional impact of the work on the viewer.

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Works by Gus Kelly selected for the 2021 Saltwater Freshwater Aboriginal Art Award

Gus Kelly

Gus Kelly “Wanha-Wanggati-Nganhang (Don’t Forget Me)” Charcoal on paper.

I know you but you don’t remember me.
I was here a long time ago but now I am gone.
They came and took everything: my land, my language, my culture, my life.
I might be gone, but I still live on inside of you
So think of me now and again – for without me you would not be here.
So I ask only one thing of you: Wanha-Wanggati-Nganhang – don’t forget me.

Congratulations to Dunghutti artist Gus Kelly on the selection of his works for inclusion in the 2021 Saltwater Freshwater Aboriginal Art Award.
Gus has been a regular exhibitor at DNAAG and his skills in working with the difficult medium of charcoal on paper are astounding.
The exhibition will open at the Glasshouse Regional Gallery at Port Macquarie on February 27th prior to touring to Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery, Taree Regional Gallery, Wadjar Regional Indigenous Gallery (Corindi Beach) and Boomali Aboriginal Art Gallery in Sydney.

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New Year in the Gallery

Milky Way Dreaming- Rainbow com

Rex Winston-Walford – Rainbow Milky Way Dreaming – Acrylic on canvas

The gallery has entered 2021 with expanded premises and a range of new artworks, prints and merchandise.

We are open 7 days a week – 10.00am to 4.00pm.

The Visitor Information Centre has now moved and this may cause some confusion with regards to our location.

We are still situated in the Val Melville Centre in the South Kempsey Park – next door to the Kempsey Museum.

We look forward to seeing you soon.

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Christmas in the Gallery


It is now a month until Christmas Day and a great time to visit he gallery and do some gift shopping.

We have an exciting range of artworks, with many small works and limited edition prints priced below $100.

We also have a wide variety of gifts and homewares including caps, scarves, jewellery, tablecloths, cushions and beach towels. With our selection of cards and gift wrap we can supply all of your gift giving needs.

Tanya - Blue Whorls

Tanya Taylor – Blue Whorls. Acrylic on canvas.

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NAIDOC Week in the Gallery

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We are celebrating NAIDOC Week in the Gallery with a display of works by our local artists. The range of styles and themes makes for an exciting display.

As we move towards Christmas, we encourage you to drop in and look at the works that are available. Original artworks make wonderful gifts.

We also stock a wide range of giftware, cards, Christmas wrap and decorations. We hope to see you soon.

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Jennifer Scott is a finalist for the Archibald Prize

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Jennifer Scott – Dr Raymond Charles Rauscher – Acrylic on canvas – Acrylic on canvas. Photograph courtesy AGNSW

Congratulations to Jennifer Scott on being selected as a finalist for the 2020 Archibald Prize. Jennifer was born in Kempsey and has Dunghutti heritage. She was a member of the stolen generation and has only recently started painting again. It is a wonderful achievement to have her work on display in the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Jennifer Scott with her work

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Blak Douglas Again a Finalist for the Archibald Prize


Archibald Prize 2020 finalist Blak Douglas (aka Adam Hill), Writing in the sand, synthetic polymer paint on canvas, 250 x 250 cm © the artist. Photo: AGNSW, Felicity Jenkins Sitter: Dujuan Hoosen – documentary star (‘In my blood it runs’)

Congratulations to Dunghutti artist Blak Douglas on being selected as a finalist in the 2020 Archibald Prize for Portraiture. His portrait of  Dujan Hoosan represents the fourth time he has been a finalist for the prize.

An article about his work and about the Archibald Prize can be sourced at:

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emus 50.5 x 50.5

Mabel Ritchie – Emus I – Acrylic on canvas – 50.5cm x 50.5cm

This is Mabel Ritchie’s painting of emus. The emu has been in the news lately. The Americans have decided that “ee-moo” is an acceptable pronunciation, while in Australia it has always been “ee-mew”.

Perhaps we could solve the problem by opting for the traditional Dunghutti word – “Nguruyn”.


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Acquisition of Work by Gus Kelly

Gus Kelly -Yalaanggurr Yurra - small

Gus Kelly – Yalaanggur Yurra (Turtle) – Coloured Pencil on Paper  – 96.5 x 75.5cm

The gallery is pleased to announce that it has purchased Gus Kelly’s beautiful, large format pencil drawing Yalaanggur Yurra (Turtle) for its permanent collection.

Over the years, the gallery has developed a policy of selecting works for permanent display. We currently have works by Alison Williams, Lewis J Knox, Mabel Ritchie, Jaluka Rosalee Quinlin, Esther Quinlin (deceased), Elwyn Toby, Andrew Stewart and Clem Ritchie.

Gus was a founding member of the Dunghutti-Ngaku Aboriginal Art Gallery and has continued to exhibit with us throughout the years.

Please take the opportunity to drop into the gallery and view this latest acquisition. The detail in the work will astound you.

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A New Artwork by Elwyn Toby

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Elwyn Toby – Pinkeye Run – Acrylic on canvas.

The gallery has just taken delivery of a new painting by renowned local artist Elwyn Toby.

Called “Pinkeye Run”, the artwork depicts the mullet run on the Macleay River. The mullet is a freshwater fish that can only be caught in floods and in the backwaters. Skills in catching the mullet have been handed down through the generations in Elwyn’s family.

This beautiful painting captures the energy of the swirling school of fish.

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Works from the Three-Nations Art Exhibition

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Our new exhibition – Always Was, Always Will Be – is open to the public.

Working with the Wadjar Regional Indigenous Gallery at Yarrawarra Aboriginal Cultural Centre and the Armidale Aboriginal Cultural Centre and Keeping Place, we are celebrating the achievements of artists from a wide expanse of northern NSW.

The exhibition will be open until August 28th. We are currently open from 10.00am to 3.00pm Monday to Wednesday but will shortly return to being open to the public 7 days a week. Please phone ahead (02 6562 1432) if you want to check if we are open.

Watch an NBN Television introduction to the exhibition at:

Mudjai - Waterlily for webMudjai Jeremy Devitt – Water Lily – Acrylic on canvas

Nick Levy -Turtle Dreaming for webNick Levy – Turtle Dreaming – Acrylic on canvas

Bruce Irving - Many Rosellas for webBrian Irving – Many Rosellas – Acrylic on canvas

Zeita Davis - New Moon for webZeita Davis – New Moon – Acrylic on canvas

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New Works By Jaluka Rosalee Quinlin

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Jaluka Rosalee Quinlin – “Fishing at Nulla Nulla Creek”
Acrylic on Paper – 103.4cm x 73,4cm (framed)

The gallery has just taken delivery of three new works by Jaluka Rosalee Quinlin. Her works tell stories about her family and about growing up in the area around Bellbrook and Nulla Nulla Creek.

ros 5Jaluka Rosalee Quinlin – “Dad the Turtle Diver” – Mixed media on paper 86.5 cm x 62cm (framed)

Rosalee Quinlin Dangu Wutu 2Jaluka Rosalee Quinlin – “Dangu Wutu (My Family)” Acrylic on canvas 75cm x 60cm

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Two Views of an Important Local Site

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Burrel Bulai – Barralbarayi

Barralbarayi is the Dunghutti name for the mountain which can be seen to the west of Kempsey.

It has also been known as Burrell Bulai, Mount Sugarloaf, Anderson’s Sugarloaf and Mount Anderson. It is a cap made of basalt formed by the Ebor volcano 20 million years ago.

“This is a view of the landscape and the traditional people around Burren Bulai. There is rain falling on the mountain but the children are still happily swimming in Nulla Creek. There are a number of campsites around the base of the mountain.”
Leo Leeko Wright – My House – My Site – Burrel Bulai 1
Acrylic on canvas 76 x 61cm.

“Barralbarayi is the Dunghutti word for “Mt Sugarloaf” or Mt Anderson, which is the Goanna symbol.  This place has special spiritual significance to Thunghutti people.  It is the initiation ground for young men coming of age.  Pink dots represent women, they too have their own sacred ground & are not allowed to walk on the mountain – they must walk around.”
Elwyn Toby – Barralbarayi
Acrylic on canvas 76cm x 60.5cm. DNAAG Collection.


Nulla Nulla Creek and Barralbarayi

Why is it an Aboriginal Place?

Burrel Bulai Aboriginal Place (Barrralbarayi) is a sacred natural feature and is associated with initiation ceremonies. 

Why is the site important to Aboriginal people?

It is considered to be one of the most powerful sacred sites in Dunghutti Country. It has special significance to local Aboriginal people because it is a place where ‘clever-people’ would prepare for specialised initiations. The mountain also has importance because it lies at the centre of Dunghutti Country and has strong powers capable of drawing home local Aboriginal people.

As Burrel Bulai, it was recorded as a place of significance by Ray Kelly, an Aboriginal Research Officer with the NSW Sites of Significance Survey team. Ray Kelly documented stories told to him by initiated men at Bellbrook Mission about the importance and power of Burrel Bulai.

Uncle Bob Smith has shared stories of Barralbarayi on video for the ABC My Place series – The Goanna Spirit on Anderson Sugarloaf Mountain.

This can be accessed at:

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Art Behind Closed Doors


Boundaries by Leo Leeko Wright

The gallery has just taken delivery of new works by local Dunghutti artist Leo Leeko Wright. Leo is looking at local history with his works; at traditional camping areas, hunting practices and important local sites. These and other works will soon be part of our Always Was, Always Will Be exhibition.