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Charlie Mardigan Aboriginal Painter

Charlie Mardigan was an Aboriginal Artist painting in Port Keats in the 1970s and 1980s. He was the most prolific and I believe the best of the Port Keats Artists. Some of his better works I believe rival those of the early Papunya Artists and rely strongly on traditional design elements.


If you have a painting on bark by Charlie Mardigan then please send me an image. I am happy to give you a value or if it is one that I like to make an offer to buy it.


Other than the fact he was born in 1926 and died in 1986 very little is known about the biography of this artist

Charlie Mardigan Art style


Unlike many of his fellow artists in Port Keats Charlie Mardigan painted on much squarer barks. This gives his art far more impact than had he stuck to churinga shaped oval barks. Like the early papunya artists like Anatjari, Mardigan uses traditional churinga design elements but reframes them into unique works of art.


Many of his artworks have a organic feel to their composition and he subtly combines natural elements with traditional design.


Besides churinga style designs Charlie also paints ritual spears and people. These tend to be simplistic and are not as collectable.

Articles on Port Keats and Wadeye art and information can be very hard to find. There is not a lot of information on the art of early artists like Nym Bunduk Charlie Rock or Bobyin Noongah. This area had very little recorded about the wonderful artists working here in the 1960s. If you know more about any of these artists please contact me. I would love to be able to present a fuller picture of the artist’s life.

Thanks to Daniel Nemarluk for reaching out and providing the names of Charlie’s children. They are Carmelita, Wilfred, Grace, peter, Lorraine, Norma and Francis. Francis Mardigan like her father is an artist.

Article on Port Keats paintings

Other Wadeye Art and Artists

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Charlie Mardigan artwork Images

The following images are of the Artwork of Charlie Mardigan. It is not a complete list of his works. They do however give a good idea of the style and above all the variety of this Aboriginal Artist.

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