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Ross Yulidjirri

Dob:          2/5/1973
Tribe:        Kunwinjku
Area:         Oenpelli, Western Arnhemland N.T.

Ross Yulidjirri is one of the most exciting and dynamic artists to emerge from Arnhemland in recent years.  Although only young of age, his work, and particularly the fine crosshatching (rarrk) he has perfected, is regarded as superior to that of many of the older artists.

Ross is the son of Paul Yulidjirri who is the brother of world-famous artist Thompson Yulidjirri whose works hang in major art galleries and have been illustrated in authentic art books.  After Ross had gone through his first ceremony to make him a young man, his uncle began teaching him the traditional style of painting on bark and in caves around Oenpelli.  Thompson is the keeper of the sacred myths of the Kunwinjku and is gradually passing these on to Ross.

His mother, Mary Yulidjirri, was married to Bobby Nganjmirra, regarded by many as the greatest artist of the Kunwinjku tribe.  She and Bobby both handed on their ‘dreamings’ for Ross to paint. By so doing Ross has now become a man of stature. His traditional land, owned by his father and uncle, is Nimbuwah Rock, an outstanding feature of the landscape between Oenpelli and Maningrida.   Ross is also in receipt of royalties as one of the inheritors of the land, including and surrounding Nimbuwah and the uranium mine of Narbalek.

A painting of Nimbuwah Rock, in which the spirit of his ancestor the Rainbow Serpent resides, was entered in the 1998 National Heritage Art Awards, which was judged in Canberra in April, and is one of very few paintings accepted for hanging in the old Parliament House from thousands of entries.  This was repeated in the year 2000, when a painting of Luma Luma the Giant was accepted. The very fact of these acceptances places him in the forefront of traditional Aboriginal artists. These two paintings were selected with the National Heritage Art Commission during 1998 and 2000


1997,   Artist in residence, Aboriginal Fine Arts, Darwin, NT

1998,   Australian Heritage Commission’s

3rd National Indigenous Art Award

2000,   Australian Heritage Commission’s

5th National Indigenous Art Award

Ross Yulidjirri's Artworks