• Ricky Gervais as Tony in Netflix series 'After Life' sitting in front of a fake Aboriginal artwork. (Netflix)Source: Netflix
The main character in the British comedian's new TV series is seen frequently with the dot-painting in his living room.
Jack Latimore

29 Oct 2019 - 1:17 PM  UPDATED 29 Oct 2019 - 1:21 PM

The production company behind a hit Netflix series will pay compensation for using an unauthorised reproduction of a painting by a Papunya Tula artist.

Derek Productions, the British company behind Ricky Gervais’ hit After Life series has agreed to pay a fee for the use of a work titled Tingarri Dreaming by well known Western Desert artist Warlimpirrnga Tjapaltjarri.

The copyright protected work is part of the Castan donation held in the collection of the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV).

Copyright Agency, the not-for-profit that works on behalf of visual artists to ensure appropriate licensing agreements for the use of copyright material, facilitated the agreement.

The agency has secured a retrospective licence for the use of a reproduction of the artists' original work on the first series of the Netflix hit and has licensed a high-quality, authorised copy of the original painting for the second series, due to be released in 2020.

The NGV will supply the high resolution photograph of the original work for the creation of the authorised copy.

A spokesperson for Mr Tjapaltjarri said the Papunya Tula Artists group was pleased with the outcome.

“It’s important that his work and the work of all Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists is acknowledged and respected,” said Paul Sweeny, the general manager for Papunya Tula Artists.

Ricky Gervais' fake Aboriginal art is not a prop, it's cultural theft
OPINION: Bundjalung artist, Ella Noah Bancroft explains the damaging impact when fake Aboriginal art stars on the set of the latest Netflix drama 'After Life'.

The unauthorised use of a copied image of the work on the first series of the show was first identified by NITV's Danny Teece-Johnson in March.

It was also criticised in an opinion piece by  Bundjalung artist Ella Noah Bancroft.

"If Ricky Gervais and his production team really wanted to have an Aboriginal Dot paintings as props, would it not seem like an ethical thing to actually purchase from a community and showcase an Aboriginal artist?" she wrote.

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