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William Manakgu
William Manakgu

Gunbalanya, West Arnhem Land, Australia

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Artwork Description

Acrylic Paint on paper

Signed with a certificate of authenticity

Namarnkol, the barramundi, is a very important fish for us Bininj (Aboriginal people). Namarnkol are found in the ocean, in floodwaters, and in freshwater billabongs, rivers and creeks. In the old days, people used to spear them with djalakirradj (three-pronged fish spears) and walabi (traditional triangular nets). Nowadays, we catch them with fishing lines and modern nets. Namarnkol are most easily caught from the end of the monsoon (March -April) until the humid “build up” season (October-November). There are sites in lots of clan countries where the ancestral Barramundi placed itself as a Dreaming. Men and women will say “My Dreaming is Barramundi, it placed itself in my country”.

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.

Medium

Acrylic on Arches paper

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Unframed (requires framing)

This artwork is currently unframed and requires framing.

#barramundi, #fish, #west arnhem, #x-ray, #injalak
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