Wailwan Artists of Central Western NSW

The Wailwan people inhabit the area between Gilgandra and Brewarrina in Central Western NSW, centered around the town of Warren.

 

From 1860 to 1890 their population reduced from around 30,000 to 800 and became almost extinct. They were mark markers and tree carvers with intricate totems and symbols. The descendants of this 60,000 year old civilization continue the symbolic work of their Ancestors through the Aboriginal Artists Group, the Ngemba Wailwan. Also known as Nyimpaa Weilwan.

 

Their work is rich, vibrant, ancient symbolism in quality oils on heavy linen canvas and has the feel of rich leather. It is a faithful rendition of the legendary Glyphs of their Ancestors.

 

Each Wailwan has their own totemic symbol along with Clan symbols which they use to produce this exciting work – the symbols of a lost tribe.

 

Their work contains no dots unlike their western brothers, rather a truer rendition of the ground and tree carvings passed on to them in totemic symbolism. 

The Wailwan people continue this tradition to keep the culture alive and are assisted in this endeavour by The Warren Macquarie Local Aboriginal Land Council and also Outback Arts which is sponsored by ARTS NSW (Formerly the Ministry of Arts). The symbols are sacred and the secrecy is preserved by the Wailwan.

 

The exhibition has closed.

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