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Gordon Barney

Warmun Art Centre

Gordon Barney was born and grew up on Alice Downs Station. His father taught him stockwork and he became known as a skilled horsebreaker and buckjumper (rodeo rider).

When Gordon worked as a stockman, he would often carry with him a saddle bag for his ochre collection. At the end of his mustering stint, he would have a bagful of ochres that he sourced from riding through his country. Whilst working on Mabel Downs Station, Gordon met Shirley Purdie who later became his wife. Shirley is a well known senior Warmun artist who encouraged Gordon to paint his country.

He started painting in 1998 when Warmun Art Centre commenced operation, often painting various hill lines located in his traditional country. Barney’s sense of concentration and focus on country are often reflected in these landscapes. Gordon is well known in Warmun Community as a strong law and culture man and was as an important ceremonial dancer.