Skip to content


Mathaman Marika

(Australia circa 1915 – 11 Jan 1970)

Language group
Rirratjingu, Arnhem region
Deimiri - the whale
Place of origin
YirrkalaNorth-east Arnhem LandNorthern TerritoryAustralia
Media category
Bark painting
Materials used
natural pigments on bark

60.0 x 35.0 cm (irreg.)

Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Gift of Harry Messel 1989
Accession number
Not on display
Further information

The main object is a large Deimiri. The lines from the head are hair like trailers or whiskers. The little objects on its back are a type of barnacle (munduga). Swimming beside it are two moonfish and two green turtles. The red and black cross lines are submerged reefs. The hatching is waves. -- 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, 59 (colour illus.).

Exhibition history (2)

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

L'Art des Aborigènes d'Australie, Musée de Cambrai, France, 13 Sep 1998–23 Nov 1998