Untitled (The High Totem - Birrkulda Ceremony)
1905 - 1980
Tom Djawa was a senior leader of the Gupapuyngu clan and was among the group of artists, including Binyinyuwuy and Lipundja, working at Milingimbi from the late 1940s. These artists were actively painting their culture with the support of the mission, producing small jewel like bark paintings and some sculptural forms.
'Untitled (The High Totem - Birrkulda Ceremony)' is a unique work by Djawa, distinguished by it's larger scale and complex composition. The works refers to the Birrkulda (honey) ceremony, with the figures and objects seen in the work adorned with the diamond design synonymous with Birrkulda. The diamond cross-hatching depict the cells of the honey comb, and the cross hatching the wax.
natural pigments on bark
157.0 x 65.0 cm
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Purchased with funds provided by the Aboriginal Collection Benefactors' Group 2013
Not on display
© Tom Djawa. Licensed by Aboriginal Artist Agency Ltd
Where the work was made
Shown in 2 exhibitions
The classic period: Arnhem Land barks from the 1960s - 2000s, Aboriginal and Pacific Art, Waterloo, 05 Mar 2013–30 Mar 2013
Art from Milingimbi: taking memories back, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 12 Nov 2016–29 Jan 2017