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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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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

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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.

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We are not yet ready to re-open

Cathie Wetlands - Swan Nesting Site II (brown)

Artwork – Cattai Wetlands – Swan Nesting Sites by Tanya Taylor

“NSW is home to some of Australia’s best art galleries and museums and I look forward to them reopening to the public.” Gladys Berejiklian – NSW Premier.

Although galleries, museums and libraries are able to re-open in NSW from Monday June 1st, DNAAG will remain closed in the short term . We still have to establish our Covid-19 safety protocols for the protection of our artists, visitors and staff. We expect to have a staged process of re-opening commencing soon. Until then you can contact us on (02) 65621432 or by email at

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Always Was, Always Will Be

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Artwork by Zale Davison

“Always Was, Always Will Be” is the theme for NAIDOC Week in 2020.

Together with Wadjar Regional Indigenous Gallery (Corindi Beach) and the Armidale and Region Aboriginal Cultural Centre, DNAAG was working towards a joint – Three Nations – exhibition.

Covid-19 restrictions have changed the way we are working,  but it is also challenging us to look for creative ways to support our artists and to celebrate their work.

We are keen to proceed, even if in a different format or at a later date.

We are currently investigating the possibility of placing artists works online before proceeding to physical exhibitions in the galleries.

I will keep you posted on our progress.

Alan Guihot – Gallery Coordinator.

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Closure due to Covid 19 Pandemic

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The gallery is currently closed to the public due to the lock-downs caused by the Covid 19 Pandemic.

We are using this time to update our online presence and to research the history of the gallery as it goes into its twelfth year of operation.

You can still contact us by phone or email if you have any inquiries.

We look forward to reopening as soon as possible so that the public can continue to see the outstanding works being produced by our Mid North Coast (NSW) artists.

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Sad Passing of an Important Artist

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Uncle Milton Budge (Dec’d) with the certificate celebrating his award of the
2007 Parliament of NSW Indigenous Art Prize.

One of the founders of the gallery, Uncle Milton Budge, has passed away. Milton exhibited throughout Australia and in 2007 his piece – Ration day times (Working for food rations, Collecting rations and rations)  won the Parliament of NSW Indigenous Art Prize. This work now forms part of the Parliament of NSW permanent art collection. Milton’s beautiful work is held in private and public collections throughout Australia. DNAAG was privileged to be associated with Milton and to exhibit his work, which shared important stories about our local history and culture.

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Congratulations Lewis John Knox

Church After The Fire

Our congratulations go to Lewis John Knox the inaugural winner of the Saltwater Freshwater Aboriginal Art Prize at the Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery

Church After the Fire – Lewis John Knox

Acrylic on canvas

50cm x 40cm x 1.2cm

Judge Djon Mundine had the following to say about this beautiful artwork

Church After the Fire is a painting about a time and a place committed to the memory of Lewis John Knox within the Aboriginal region now called the mid-north coast of New South Wales. It talks of the ‘mission called Burnt Bridge outside Kempsey that gave birth to a number of story-teller historian painters; Robert Campbell Jnr. and Adam Hill a.k.a. Blak Douglas among them. Picasso once lamented his wish to paint with the wonderment of a child. The childhood memory related here is simply directly expressed in naive brush strokes, colours, and partial impressionist composition. It moved an immediate visual-emotional response among a field of entries across a wide range of scale, styles, and subjects.