Barney Ellaga comes from Mamballi country around Hodgson Downs. His father, Ngenhaninnunu, was an Alawa man and his mother Ruby was a Ngalakan speaker from Arnhem Land.
Ellaga lives at his home station, Hodgson Downs, near Ngukurr. Recently people from Miniyerri country have been able to gain title to their land and now live on and work the property in the community called Miniyerri.
Ellaga paints his mother's Dreaming, which includes the rivers and billabongs of his country, and occasionally Bandian, the King Brown snake.
His work was first exhibited in a group show in 1989. He was represented in the Ngundungunya: Art for everyone exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria and at Beat Strit: Art of South East Arnhem Land, Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne, in 1997. The artist held his first solo exhibition, Barney Ellaga - Alawa Country at Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne in 1999.