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(Australia  – )

Crocodile and fire dreaming
Place of origin
North-east Arnhem LandNorthern TerritoryAustralia
Media category
Bark painting
Materials used
natural pigments on bark

80.0 x 42.0 cm

Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Gift of Harry Messel 1988
Accession number
Not on display
Further information

The crocodile men stole fire and took it with them to Blue Mud Bay where it exploded. To escape the flames, the crocodiles swam northward and became sacred to a number of people. The sacred diamond pattern represents the burning water; the central charcoal section is a charred part of the adjacent coast.

Harry Messel

Bibliography (1)

Edmund Capon, Steven Miller, Tony Tuckson, James Scougall, Mollie Gowing, Harry Messel, Craig Brush, Ronald Fine, Alison Fine, Gordon Davies, Rosalind Davies, Christopher Hodges, Helen Eager, Rosemary Gow, Sandra Phillips, Daphne Wallace and Ken Watson, Gamarada, Sydney, 1996, 57 (colour illus.).

Exhibition history (1)

Gamarada, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 15 Nov 1996–16 Feb 1997