Ngartatja (Black Shag) 3 | 2020


Delivery advice for purchasers: Pack and Send. Installation Advice For purchasers: Place and enjoy

Weight 3 kg
Dimensions 75 × 4 × 18 cm
Filter Medium






Catalogue number


These birds are very special to Barkandji people. The rivers are not the same without them, and they are getting scarcer every year. They are like family, some tell us where the fish are, or tell us if danger is approaching. We listen to them and watch their movements, they let us know what is happening.



Availability: In stock

Delivery advice for purchasers: Pack and Send. Installation Advice For purchasers: Place and enjoy


Sculptor Bio

Badger Bates

Badger Bates

I was born on the Baaka (Darling River) at Wilcannia in 1947 and brought up by my extended family and grandmother Granny Moysey, learning the language, history and culture of the Barkandji people. I travel the country looking after important places and teaching young people about their culture and their country. I am an artist, cultural heritage consultant and environmental activist and my art shows the complex relationships between Barkandji people, country and water. Recent exhibitions include Art Gallery of South Australia’s Tarnanthi festival 2019, Biennale of Sydney Rivus 2022, and The Australian Museum 2023 ‘Barka the Forgotten River’.

I was born in Wilcannia in 1947 and was brought up by my grandmother. I was taught from about 8 years old by my Granny and other elders to carve and engrave emu eggs and wooden artefacts.

In 1983 I moved to Broken Hill to work for National Parks as an Aboriginal Sites Officer. There I met a lot of other artists and they encouraged me to expand on my emu egg carving to do linocut prints. I then started carving more wooden artefacts and then wooden sculptures. I was invited to join a stone sculpture symposium on a hill outside of Broken Hill and there I met other artists from Georgia, Mexico and Australia who showed me how to carve stone.

Much later I started doing metal sculptures, the skills needed based on my early jobs around Wilcannia, fencing and working on stations, as well as making our own huts and always mending things.

Everything we had was handmade, so for me it was easy to do metal work. The tip was our shop, so I still visit the old tips to get most of my metal work materials.


Artback Art Prize 2017, collaboration with Jodi Daley

Recent Commissions

2022 - 6m long hand forged steel sculpture of the Ngatji blowing a rainbow for Biennale of Sydney, collaboration with Matt Mewburn of Eveleigh Works
2021 - 3 large hand forged steel double gates for portico of the Paul Ramsay Foundation, Darlinghurst, collaboration with Matt Mewburn of Eveleigh Works
2018 - locally sourced sandstone sculpture 'West meets East' for Bankstown Arts Centre
2015 - 2016 - major public art work for Mildura Riverfront Redevelopment - large stone sculpture and two 8 metre long semi-circular mosaic seats installation inspired by Gaudi.
2013 - large stone sculpture at Mutawintji National Park, based on two traditional stories, one from Mutawintji and a more general story about Barkandji Kilpara and Mukwara moieties.
2009 - Large Wilcannia silcrete stone sculpture titled "Connections", depicting the traditional connections between the landscape and the night sky, placed overlooking the Dandry Gorge near Baradine, for DECC and local Aboriginal community. Featured in Artscape Sculptures in the Scrub.
2006 - 2007 - Large Sydney sandstone sculptural piece of a man, woman, and two children commemorating the Stolen Generations, for the Stolen Generations Committee, located at Yandelora or Mt Annan Botanic Gardens, Sydney.

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