Kalarriya ‘Jimmy’ Namarnyilk

Kalarriya 'Jimmy' Namarnyilk

Skin name: Kodjok
Language: Kunwinjku
Dreaming: Yirridjdja
Clan: Bularlhdja
Date of birth: 1938-01-01
From: Yayminjdji
Community: Oenpelli : NT



Kalarriya was of the nawamud (kodjok) sub-section. He was a member of the Wurrban clan whose estate is situated in the upper reaches of the Cadell River. His wife Eva Balitja is of ngalbangardi sub-section. Kalarriya told archaeologist George Chaloupka that he was ‘grown up’ (raised) by Nipper Kapirigi, a Gundjeihmi man of the Badmardi clan whose traditional estate was far to the west in the Deaf Adder Creek Valley, now a restricted part of the Kakadu National Park. Kalarriya accompanied Kapirigi when Kapirigi was engaged in various jobs and partook in social and ritual obligations throughout the Alligator River country and the Pine Creek-Katherine region. After the Second World War, Kalarriya and Kapirigi worked alongside Billy Miargu, ‘Old’ Nabandjole and George Namingum, shooting buffalo in the Nourlangie-Deaf Adder Creek-Jim Jim area for Bob Cole. Due to his association and travels with Kapirigi and other senior men to many parts of the great Arnhem Plateau, Kalarriya had a sound knowledge of clan territories, sites of significance and associated traditions. Today he is seen as a most senior ritual specialist. Kalarriya used to reside at various outstations according to season, family and ritual obligation. They may include Manmoyi or Gamarrgowan on the Mann River in west Arnhem Land or at Spring Peake in Kakadu National Park. As a young man Kalarriya contracted leprosy that affected his hands and feet, but maintained a great energy and zest for living and painting.

(Initial notes: NATSIVAD)

Country: Yaymindji, Gammargowan, Manmoyi, (western Arnhem Land) Spring Peake (Kakadu), Nabarung

Solo exhibitions

  • 2005 Djungkay, Mossenson Galleries, Melbourne

Group exhibitions

  • 2013 Wurrkabal, Netanya Resort, Noosa QLD
  • 2012 Manme Mayh: Gardens of the Stone Country, Nomad Gallery, Darwin NT
  • 2009 Single Line A Countinuing Tradition, Mossenson Galleries Melbourne
  • 2007 Above & Beyond, Caruana & Reid Fine Art, Elizabeth Bay, NSW
  • 2006 Wet & Dry, Mossenson - Indigenart Gallery, Perth WA
  • 2006 Landmarks, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
  • 2005 Single line artists, Raft Artspace, Darwin, NT
  • 2005 Old School- Art of three major proponents of single rarrk artists of Western Arnhem Land, Indienart Gallery, Perth
  • 2005 Art from the Stone Country, Darwin Entertainment Centre, Darwin
  • 2004 21st National Aboriginal and Tortres Strait Islander Art Awards, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin
  • 2003 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory Darwin NT
  • 1994 Power of the Land: Masterpieces of Aboriginal Art, National Gallery of Victoria
  • 1994 Art of the Rainbow Snake, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
  • 1990 Spirit in Land: Bark Paintings from Arnhem Land, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
  • 1989 A Myriad of Dreaming; Twentieth Century Aboriginal Art, Westpac Gallery , Melbourne; Design Warehouse Sydney


  • Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide
  • Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
  • National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne


  • Wright, Felicity, The Art & Craft Centre Story: Volume Three - Good stories from out bush, ATSIC, 2000
  • Ryan. J, Spirit in Land exhib, cat., National Gallery of Victoria. Melbourne, 1990
  • Diggins, L. (ed) A Myriad of Dreaming ; Twentieth Century , 1989
  • Twentieth Century Aboriginal Art, exhib.cat Malakoff Fine Art Press Nth Caulfield, Victoria, 1984
  • Isaacs, 1984 Australias Living Heritage Arts of the Dreaming,Landsdowne Press, Sydney, 1984


  • An original Kalarriya design was used on the Australian 65c stamp issued in 1982, 1982