Yidumduma Bill Harney

Apr 2015

Bill Harney Lightning Brothers BH3

Bill Harney, ND, Lightning Brothers BH3, 100x120cm. Image source: http://www.aboriginalartcentre.com.au/category/bill-harney/

Yidumduma Bill Harney was born on Willeroo Station circa 1936, around 120 kilometres south west of Katherine. This country is known as the Land of the Lightning Brothers. Yidumdama paints in traditional colours, and depicts the Lightning Brothers along with other images from his area on canvas, and on didjeridoos. 
He also makes the didjeridoos he paints from the wood of yellowjacks, sand bloodwood, red woolybutt, white woolybutt, black woolybutt and stringybark. 
In his paintings on canvas, and on didgeridoos, he brings to life the Dreamtime stories of his Aboriginal Wardaman people.

Yidumduma Bill Harney is also an esteemed Elder and Senior custodian of the Wardaman people. As an Aboriginal, Yidumduma speaks seven languages, and is unfortunately the last senior lawman (knowledge custodian) of his people.

Over the years Yidumduma Bill Harney has travelled widely in Australia and overseas promoting his cultural heritage, and the magnificent art record of his people. Yidumduma is widely regarded as a Master story teller or songman of his people. As an artist, Yidumduma’s work is in public and private collections all over the globe, with paintings in the National Gallery of Australia, The Federal Parliament and the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly. He is co-author of two books, Born Under the Paperbark Tree and Dark Sparklers.

Described as one of Australia’s living ‘National Treasures’, Yidumduma Bill Harney is an extremely knowledgeable, intelligent and gregarious man. One we are extremely proud of here in the Katherine Region.


Calling all Yidumduma Bill Harney Art Lovers!

Godinymayin Yijard Rivers Arts & Culture is developing a major retrospective of Yidumduma Bill Harney’s artwork, due to open in May 2016. If you have any Yidumduma Bill Harney paintings, please contact Godinymayin on 08 8972 3751 or email director@gyracc.org.au.


Source Articles:

Yubulyawan Dreaming Project http://ydproject.com/index.php/about/yidumduma-bill-harney

AUSTRALIAN BIOGRAPHY | STUDY GUIDE Catherine Shirley http://sa-staging.com/programs/teachers_notes/8493_ausbioharney.pdf

Wardaman Dreaming Project http://www.paultaylor.ws/pdf/BillHarneyArtistBio.pdf