Deutscher and Hackett are delighted to offer important works of art by indigenous artists from the Maclean collection. With a strong focus on acquisitions from the communities of Arnhem Land and the newer art centres in the APY lands, the collection includes significant work by many of the most well-known artists from these communities at the heights of their creativity. For more than a decade the Macleans selected works from major exhibitions at galleries in Melbourne and Sydney, augmented by annual pilgrimages to indigenous art festivals such as Desert Mob in Alice Springs and the NATSIAA and associated exhibitions held in Darwin each August. Trips to remote communities also enabled the development of strong relationships with art centre co-ordinators and friendships amongst artists.

Anchoring the collection are paintings from Arnhem Land executed on both stringybark bark and on the hollow trunks of eucalypts. Exemplified by the extraordinary Untitled (White Circles), 2015 by Yolngu painter Nyapanyapa Yunupingu, renowned for the spontaneity and freeness of her mark making, this large painting on bark was selected for inclusion in the 2015 NATSIAA exhibition at the Museum and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory in Darwin. An accompanying work by Nyapanyapa painted on the trunk of a hollowed log, Untitled (Circles in Grey and Black), 2013 is also offered. Similarly, from the Buku Larrngay Mulka art centre at Yirrkala, a large and imposing painting by Madarrpa clan leader Djambawa Marawili is included in the auction. Painted in 2013 and portraying Burrut’tji (the lightning serpent) at the tidal mudflats at Baraltja, this imposing work, standing at over 2 metres tall, is one of the finest paintings by this artist to come to auction. Further highlights from Buku Larrngay include a bark painting and a suite of three poles depicting Garak – the Universe, by Gulumbu Yunupingu and we are pleased to include three paintings on bark by Nonggirrnga Marawili.

Among the highlights from Maningrida Arts and Culture, is a painted Lorrkon (hollow log) by celebrated artist John Mawurndjul. Constantly striving for new ways to interpret his country, Mawurndjul’s innovative use of rarrk to map important locations is evident in the fine lineal clan designs that spread across the surface of this work. Likewise, from Maningrida is a monumental Mimih spirit by Crusoe Kurddal and two Yawkyawk spirits by Owen Yalandja. Other notable three-dimensional work from the collection include a fibre echidna by Riverland artist Yvonne Koolmatrie.

A feature of the Maclean collection are vibrant and colourful paintings of country by artists for the Aṉangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara communities (APY lands) of the tri-state border region of South Australia, the Northern Territory and Western Australia. Consistent with the up-scaling of much contemporary indigenous art from these communities, the Maclean collection embraced a number of monumental works by some of the current high-profile indigenous artists. These paintings by artists such as Sylvia Kantjupai Ken and Tjunkara Ken from Tjala Arts at Amata, and Maringka Baker and Kay Baker from Tjungu Palya Artists at Nyapari, South Australia represent mapped country and pulsate with colour and energy.