Name: Bob Burruwal (dec)

Language: Rembarrnga

Community: Maningrida


“When I was a young man, I used to paint bark, make dancing belts, clap sticks and didjeridu. My parents were not artists. My father was a clever man. He taught me a lot of things about our way, our stories.”   - Bob Burruwal

Bob Burruwal, born in 1952, is a celebrated Rembarrnga artist, who lives and works at Ankabarrbirri, an outstation, close to Maningrida.  He performs an important role in ceremony and song with in his clan.


Burruwal along with his partner, Lena Yarinkura, have led the innovation in fibre art from Arnhem land which has received local and international critical acclaim for the better part of three decades. 


Common subjects of his work include the wurlga, wurum (fish-increasing) and namorrorddo spirits. Since the early 1990’s his practice has extended into installation, creating scenes from stories handed down to him. Occasionally creating major installations  with Lena Yarinkura,  narrative is a  key feature of his work.  His  1994 collaboration with Yarinkura, ‘Family Drama’, won the  prestigious Wandjuk Marika Memorial Three-Dimensional Award at the 11th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award. 



Burruwal is also well know for his mako (didgeridoo), prized for the artist's fine selection of wood and their resulting acoustics.



His work has also appeared in numerous solo & group exhibitions  and in major institutional shows nationally and internationally.  His work in held in public and private collections around the world.

© the artist / art centre