Skip to content

Collection

All

Search

Contemporary art

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art

View More:


Title

Djowuy

2005


Artist

Manman Wirrpanda

Australia

1955 -

Language group

Dhudi-Djapu, Arnhem region


About

The Buku Larnnggay Mulka documentation for the work states:

"The land that this work portrays is the artist's home in the Dhudi-Djapu clan estates around the meeting of the Dhuruputjpi River and the Yalata floodplain. It is a coastal area, this Dhudi-Djapu homeland, that has territory leading up a river through plains country behind the beach. The plain is tidal and during the wet seasons it is flooded by the rains and tidal surge creating areas of brackish water. During the dry season the grass and black earth dry out. Then the fires come, turning a swamp into a huge plain of cracked black earth. Fresh water springs dot this sun baked plain forming small islands of vegetation and as Rarrandada (the hot time) builds, the thirsty birds come to these sacred springs in their thousands. The noise of the gudurrku or dhangultji (brolgas) and gurrumatji (magpie geese) is deafening, the mud scored with their tracks and the sky dark with the flocks of wheeling birds.

In Ancestral times the activities of the Djang’kawu took place here. The Djang’kawu (the Dhuwa moiety creator beings), in naming this country for the Dhudi-Djapu, dug waterholes by plunging their sacred digging sticks in the ground creating waterholes as they did. Fresh water sprung from these wells as did a sacred goanna, a manifestation in some circles of the Djang’kawu themselves. Also on the wet clays around the wells the goanna observed the footprints of Dangultji (the brolga).

The majority of the painting is covered with the design which shows the salt tide bringing alimindirrk (mixed fresh and salt water) in through Djowuy – the mouth of this watercourse where it joins the Yirritja ocean (Munurru, Widiyarr) of Yathikpa. The design at this part of the painting shows the area Gurrkurrwuy or Yalata. The large name of this floodplain is Gara?arri. This area is broken up with Yolngu understanding into smaller areas. The structure of the songs and cosmology of this place is that the salt tide comes up first and then the rain washes it right back to the beach."

© Australian Art Department, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2005


Details


Date

2005


Media category

Bark painting


Materials used

natural earth pigments on eucalyptus bark


Dimensions

215.0 x 100.0 cm


Credit

Purchased with funds provided by the Aboriginal Collection Benefactors' Group 2005


Location

Not on display


Accession number

335.2005


Artist information

Manman Wirrpanda

Works in the collection

1


Place

Where the work was made
Yirrkala

Shown in 1 exhibition

Exhibition history


Referenced in 1 publication

Bibliography


Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of New South Wales Annual Report 2006, 'Year in review: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art', pg. 23-25, Sydney, 2006, 24.