Division of fish
The bark painting [Division of fish] illustrates the method of dividing fishfor cooking and later distribution. On the left hand side is the complete fish, probably one of the gurnards. The fish is cut down the backbone and below the vent, after the head has been removed. The piece, the tastiest portion is called gunmirik, the head gungoil, while the back and tail are known as gunbotmir.
[Charles P. Mountford, 'Records of the American-Australian scientific expedition to Arnhem Land vol. 1: Art, myth and symbolism']
Place where the work was made
natural pigments on paper
58.0 x 46.3 cm image/sheet; 76.0 x 63.1 x 3.6 cm frame
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Gift of the Commonwealth Government 1956
Not on display
Where the work was made
Shown in 2 exhibitions
One sun, one moon, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 03 Jul 2007–02 Dec 2007
Mountford Gifts: Works from the American Australian scientific expedition to Arnhem Land 1948, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 21 Mar 2009–03 Jun 2009
Referenced in 4 publications
Jonathan Jones, Mountford Gifts: Works from the American-Australian scientific expedition to Arnhem Land 1948, 'Mountford Gifts: Works from the American-Australian scientific expedition to Arnhem Land 1948', pg. 1-5, Sydney, 2009, 3, 4, 7 (colour illus.).
Steven Miller, John Flaxman, ‘Cultural capital: Key moments in the collecting of Australian Indigenous art’, pg. 29-41, 1979, 30 (colour illus.).
Charles P Mountford (Editor), Records of the American-Australian scientific expedition to Arnhem Land 1: Art, myth and symbolism, Melbourne, 1956, 252. plate no. 81B
National Art Gallery of New South Wales, Purchases and Acquisitions for 1956 National Art Gallery of N.S.W., Sydney, 1956, 23. cat.no. 63; titled 'Divison of fish'