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circa 1992


Mick Daypurryun


1929 – Nov 1994

Language group: Liyagalawumirr, Arnhem region

  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    Elcho Island Northern Territory Australia
    Cultural origin
    Gandungu/ Liyagawumirr
    circa 1992
    Media category
    Bark painting
    Materials used
    natural pigments on bark
    136.0 x 50.0 cm
    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Purchased with funds provided by the Aboriginal Collection Benefactors' Group 2013
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Estate of Mick Daypurryun/Copyright Agency

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Mick Daypurryun

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Mick Daypurryun is an exceptional bark painter from Galiwinj'ku (Elcho Island) who was painting predominantly in the late 1980s and early 1990s. This work is drawn from the height of his career and is painted in the strong geometric style for which he is recognised. The work refers to the Gandungu and Liyagawumirr clans and the separation between the yirritja and dhuwa moieties.

    The right of the work represents the Gandungu clan (dhuwa) while the Liyagawumirr clan (yirritja) is on the left. These clans are separated by a central channel of water in which local vegetation - mangrove leaves and fruit - is depicted. The delicate crosshatching underling this vegetation suggests the sea foam which the leaves float upon.

    The Liyagawumirr clan or dhuwa moiety panel on the right contains five waterholes. The two red crosshatched waterholes represent fresh water mixed with ratjpa (red ochre). The triangle shapes around them represent different kinds of water. The white crosshatched triangle represents freshwater, the yellow crosshatched triangle represents water mixed with sea sand, and the red crosshatched triangle represents fresh water mixed with ratjpa. The white marks on the the lines connecting the waterholes are the footprints of the sand crab.

    The left panel of this work represents the yirritja clan, through the rhythmic repetition of a diamond design, depicting mangrove worms in implicit detail. In the lower section this design is rendered in white representing the empty shells where the mangrove worms once lived. This colour coded language demonstrates the artist's implicit and intimate knowledge of his country.

  • Places

    Where the work was made

    Elcho Island

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 1 exhibition