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Samuel Wagbara

(Australia 1928 – 1979)

Language group
Maung, Arnhem region
Three mimihs dancing
Other titles:
Bark painting (Three Mimi figures dancing)
Three Mimi figures dancing
Place of origin
Croker IslandWestern Arnhem LandNorthern TerritoryAustralia
Media category
Bark painting
Materials used
natural pigments on eucalyptus bark

76.2 x 54.6 cm (irreg.)

Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Purchased 1964
Accession number
Not on display
Further information

The three animated mimi figures on this early bark from Croker Island contrast markedly with the more static figures typical of Crusoe Kurdals's carvings. Although the images are similar, these express concepts relating to sexual misbehaviour (suggested by their enlarged sexual organs). They also feature ant-like heads and internal patterns in the x-ray style typical of rock art from the same region.

from Margo Neale, 'Yiribana', Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 1994

Bibliography (4)

Margo Neale, Yiribana: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander collection, Sydney, 1994, 52, 53 (colour illus.), 138, 139. plate no. 23

Margo Neale, Yiribana, Sydney, 1994, 8 (colour illus.).

Hetti Perkins, Crossing country: the alchemy of western Arnhem Land art, Sydney, 2004, 28 (colour illus.), 230.

Jill Sykes, Look, 'Crossing country: quotes from the Symposium', pg. 35, Newtown, Dec 2004-Jan 2005, 35 (colour illus.).

Exhibition history (2)

Love Magic: Erotics, Politics and Indigenous Art, S.H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney, 21 Aug 1999–03 Oct 1999

Crossing country: the alchemy of Western Arnhem Land art, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 24 Sep 2004–12 Dec 2004