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Artwork Description

Other Media on paper

Signed certificate of authenticity.

One young boy was Namarladj, an orphan. He lived in a community of families in country called Kabbari; an area where many people camped and lived. The young orphan boy had tasted the yarrldjarrdj plant with its sweet, yellow root that tasted like pumpkin and its stem which was like celery. He craved this food and as he could not get anymore he cried and cried. People brought him all kinds of meat, fish and plants - kangaroo, wallaby, goanna and magpie geese, barramundi, bream and yabbies, yams and waterlilies - but nothing would satisfy him. He became greedy for this sweet taste of yarrldjarrdj. The people let him cry, day and night. On and on the crying went. It was Namarladj’s crying that awoke Ngalyod, the Rainbow Serpent, from his sleep at Weyirra or North Goulburn Island many kilometres away. Ngalyod rose and crossed the waters to the mainland travelling across the land to Kabbari. Ngalyod entered the camp where people were preparing a feast and men called ngarladj were gathering for a ceremony. The Serpent arrived causing terror. Ngalyod’s anger was great and he killed and ate all the people including Namarladj, the orphan boy.

Kunwinjku art is part of the oldest continuous art tradition in the world. Ancestors of today’s artists have been painting the rock walls of West Arnhem Land for tens of thousands of years. The traditional palette of white, red, yellow and black comes from the ochre that naturally occurs in the region, although contemporary artists sometimes choose to paint in acrylics as well. Kunwinjku artists famously paint using either the traditional rarrk hatching technique, or the more contemporary and complex cross hatching technique which has been adapted from ceremonial painting. These lines are painted using a manyilk, which is a piece of sedge grass shaved down until only a few fibres remain.

Artists at Injalak Art Centre have been painting on Arches 640gsm handmade watercolour paper since it was introduced as a medium by American art collecter John W. Kluge in 1990 when he commissioned a suite of paintings for the Kluge-Ruhe Collection at the University of Virginia, USA. It is archival quality and has an organic texture that mimics the natural surface of bark, making it an excellent alternative in West Arnhem Land where trees suitable for bark harvesting are much sparser than other areas of the Top End of Australia.

This painting needs to be framed. It’s also being sent direct from the artist at a remote art centre, Injalak Arts, in the top end. Please note there is only one mail plane a week that takes the artwork to Gunbalanya. The tracking information is then received a week later when the mail plane returns so often the paintings are delivered before we receive the tracking information. Please expect a slightly longer wait for this very special artwork to arrive.

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Medium

Ochre on Arches paper

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Unframed (requires framing)

This artwork is unframed and requires framing.

Tags#Dreaming, #Djang, #Ochre, #Rainbow Serpent, #Ngalyod

As a member of the Indigenous Art Code Bluethumb is proud to have established direct partnerships with some of Australia's most respected First Nation's artists and art centres.

All art by Roland Burrunali

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