The Micrograph

White Ochre

This image shows the overlapping plates fund in this naturally occurring white pigment, also known as kaolin and china clay. These plates reflect the underlying arrangement of the layers of aluminium, silicon and oxygen atoms in the crystal lattice and give the ochre its slippery feel. As well as its use as a pigment, this mineral is used in the production of porcelain, paper, cosmetics, as an aid to blood clotting and to treat upset stomachs and diarrhoea.

This image shows an area 185 nanometres wide (1 nanometre is one millionth of a millimetre)

Image: Hongwei Liu

The Artwork

Birnoo Country

This painting shows the hills of Gordon’s country – Birnoo Country. Gordon was born there, and when he grew up, he mustered cattle all throughout this country for many years – the way his father taught him to. This Country today covers what is currently known as Alice Downs Station.

As he walked across this land with family there was always an abundance of bush food for everyone. The hills surround Birnoo Rockhole. In the evening birds, kangaroos and emus come to the rockhole to drink. Two jumuluny (boab trees) stand beside the rockhole, which lies south of the station homestead.

The White Ochre micrograph reminds Gordon of the hills that surround his country, and he depicts the tonal variation through different coloured ochres employed.

Artist: Gordon Barney, Warmun Art Centre