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Contemporary art

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art

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Moon Sisters Story, from Duyfken: The Aboriginal Print Portfolio



Leonie Pootchemunka


1962 -

Language groups

Apelech, West Cape region, Winchanam, West Cape region


This limited edition print portfolio was produced in July 2006 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Dutch-Australian relations. Sponsored by Rabobank, the portfolio was produced by the Australian Print Workshop, Melbourne, in collaboration with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

The title of the portfolio is drawn from the name of the first Dutch ship to land on Australian shores, the Duyfken or Little Dove. A vessel of the Dutch East India Company, the Duyfken landed on the west coast of Cape York Peninsula in March 1606 and Captain William Janszoon and his men went ashore. The portfolio is based on the notion of 'first encounters' to highlight this little known fact.

The Duyfken portfolio brings together 10 Indigenous artists from across the country with diverse art practices, resulting in an important collection of works that explore the notion of 'first encounters' in a number of ways and shed light on the exchanges that took place with a number of countries prior to colonisation.

The documentation for this print states:

"Two sisters of the Winchanam clan were going hunting for turtles etc. Next minute they came across a river (the Archer River), looking for lily roots. They thought they saw a big barramundi swimming but it was the moon who took the two ladies away from our people. At Ti-tree there is a hollow where the moon took the two women. When it is full moon you can see the women in the moon. This is a true story; everybody knows that".


Place where the work was made

Aurukun Cape York Queensland Australia



Media category


Materials used

linocut, red and black ink on Velin Arches 200gsm white wove paper




40.0 x 59.0 cm platemark; 56.0 x 76.0 cm sheet


Gift of Rabobank Australia Ltd 2007


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Leonie Pootchemunka

Works in the collection


Referenced in 2 publications


Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Duyfken, Netherlands, 2006, (colour illus.). Commemorative brochure, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Anne Virgo (Editor), Australian Print Workshop bulletin, 'Duyfken Folio', pg. 4, Fitzroy, 2007.