Jimmy Mijau Mijau Crocker Island Bark Painter
The aim of this article is to assist readers in identifying if their aboriginal bark painting is by Jimmy Mijau Mijau. It compares and discusses examples of his work. He painted bark painting in the Crocker Island style. He used traditional ochre and is a recognized aboriginal bark painter.
If you have a Jimmy Mijau Mijau bark painting to sell please contact me. If you just want to know what your Jimmy Mijau Mijau painting is worth please feel free to send me a Jpeg because I would love to see it.
Jimmy Mijau Mijau is one of the old school artists whose works have a flow to the limbs that has nothing to do with where the joints are. His barks have a great fluidity and lack European convention. Some of his paintings are directly related to sorcery. Sorcery, in this case, is traditional beliefs disliked by Christian missionaries. He belonged to a generation of aboriginal artists who knew their art had a direct magical effect in the real world. His early works can easily be mistaken for those of Namatbara Wagbara or even Yirawala
Jimmy Mijau Mijau had two very distinct phases of bark painting. His early works were mainly for anthropologists and are extremely traditional. They have strong fields of color; bold outlining in white pigment and animated forms. These early works are very similar to early works by Paddy Compass Namatbara. The faces on his early bark paintings of spirits look more animal than human.
His later works were predominantly made for sale at the mission. In later works, he retains the animated forms but incorporates cross-hatching techniques. These cross-hatching techniques are traditional to Eastern Arnhem Land. He learned these techniques from Yirrawala.
His later works have the distinctive cross-hatching across an often circular face. Many of his late works lack genitalia no doubt coming from Missionary influence.
Jimmy Mijau Mijau did do paintings of animals including Kangaroos, turtles, snake, fish, and echidna. These animal barks are nowhere near as popular with collectors as his spirit figures. He also painted depictions of Namarrkon the Lightning spirit. I like his earlier works for the pure freedom and lack of inhibition and convention.
Bark paintings by Samuel Wagbara are sometime mistaken for the better known Jimmy Mijau Mijau
Very little information is available on this artist. Jimmy was born in Minjilang on Crocker Island around 1897 and died in 1985. He spoke Kuninjku, language. If anyone knows more information about the life of Jimmy I would love to hear from them. I would be more than happy to add it to this article.
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