Cartography of a Collection: Bark Paintings of The Karel Kupka Collection (Arnhem Land Australia) (CARTOCOLL)

Cartography of a Collection:  Bark Paintings of The Karel Kupka Collection (Arnhem Land Australia) (CARTOCOLL)
Les sœurs Wawilag à Mirarrmina, écorce peinte par Dhawarangulil (clan Gupapuyngu), Milingimbi (1963) ©musée du quai Branly

This project aims to engage international and interdisciplinary reflection on an experimental and collaborative project mapping a collection of aboriginal bark paintings from the north of Australia. The project has two key objectives. Firstly, it aims to digitally reunite the collections of the artist and anthropologist Karel Kupka, which were scattered in the 1960s between three countries and several museums. This collection, which has never since been brought together, and of which the Quai Branly-Jacques Chirac museum in Paris has a large portion, constitutes a major source of knowledge for the descendants of these artists who continue to represent their land through art. Secondly, considering the collection as a digital support for virtual cartography, it addresses the question of aboriginal environmental memory through paintings. By locating these works within the territory they represent, and by exploring the transmission of knowledge with the Milingimbi community who live there, this project aims to ultimately foster a new approach to the ecology of Yolngu memorial processes.

Project managers

Jessica DE LARGY , CNRS - Laboratoire d’ethnologie et de sociologie comparative, UMR 7186

Nicolas GARNIER , Musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac

Internal cluster partners

  • Laboratoire d'Ethnologie et de Sociologie Comparative (LESC) - UMR 7186
  • Musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac

Associated partners

National Museum of Australia

Museum der Kulturen Basel

Centre de recherche et de documentation sur l’Océanie - CREDO (Aix-Marseille Université, CNRS, EHESS, CREDO UMR 7308)

Milingimbi Arts and Culture Centre

Crocodile Islands Rangers


1 year


Environnement, mémoire, peinture sur écorce, Terre d'Arnhem, Karel Kupka