Bark paintings

Bark painting is one of the oldest forms of art from ArnhemLand in the Northern Territory.

The bark most commonly used is from the Stringy Bark tree (Eucalyptus Tetrodonta).It can only be taken from the tree from the wet season in November, through to the middle of the dry season in March.

The artist will find a suitable tree and cut the bark needed. Then the bark is heated over a fire for a few minutes so it becomes flexible enough to flatten out. The bark is then scraped with an axe or sharp stone so it becomes flat enough to paint on. The bark will then be left weighted down with rocks, on the ground in the sun, to flatten for a further few weeks it is then ready to paint on Usually the very detailed design is applied using ochre paint and a twig or blade of grass.

Bark paintings