Ngayuku Ngura - My Country

Robert Burton, Pitjantjatjara / Australian, 20th century
Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara
South Australia



Acrylic on canvas

Overall: 48 1/16 × 48 1/16 in. (122 × 122 cm)

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth: Gift of Will Owen and Harvey Wagner



Place Made: Australia, Oceania


21st century

Object Name


Research Area


Not on view


Robert Burton hailed from the Amata community in the Aṉangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands of northwestern South Australia. His work exemplifies the Western Desert painting movement, which while comprising a diverse range of styles, generally is known for dynamic mark making and vibrant color palettes.

Much seemingly abstract Aboriginal Australian imagery depicts Dreamings, narratives of the period of creation for Aboriginal peoples. According to visual anthropologist Howard Morphy: "In Aboriginal cosmology the shape of the landscape was formed by the actions of ancestral beings. These beings emerged from the surface of the land or traveled here from a far-off place and then transformed the landscape into the shape it has today. . . . They embodied the spiritual forces of the universe, leading the life of a human being but on a grander scale, and their actions and travels all impact on the form of the landscape."

In Ngayuku Ngura—My Country, Burton depicts the visual richness of his homeland and, moreover, signifies the continued presence of its ancestors, interweaving together past, present, and future.

From the 2021 exhibition Drawing Lines, curated by Jessica Hong, Associate Curator of Global Contemporary Art

Exhibition History

Drawing Lines, Dorothy and Churchill P. Lathrop Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth, Hanover, New Hampshire, July 10, 2021–September 4, 2022.


Will Owen (1952-2015) and Harvey Wagner (1931-2017), Chapel Hill, North Carolina; given to present collection, 2014.

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