We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.





Djambawa Marawili AM


1953 –

Language group: Madarrpa, Arnhem region

Alternate image of Lorr by Djambawa Marawili AM
Alternate image of Lorr by Djambawa Marawili AM
Alternate image of Lorr by Djambawa Marawili AM
  • Details

    Other Title
    Place where the work was made
    Yirrkala North-east Arnhem Land Northern Territory Australia
    Cultural origin
    Madarrpa, Arnhem region
    Media category
    Bark painting
    Materials used
    natural pigments on bark
    242.0 x 103.0 cm
    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Mollie Gowing Acquisition fund for Contemporary Aboriginal art 2016
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Djambawa Marawili. Licensed by Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Art Centre

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Djambawa Marawili AM

    Works in the collection


  • About

    ‘Our intellectual knowledge exists in the fresh water and becomes one on the salt water’

    Djambawa Marrawili is a leader of Madarrpa clan, with senior ceremonial responsibilities in his community of Yirrkala and indeed across Arnhem Land. He co-ordinated the Federal Court sea claim in 2004, which eventuated in the High Court's landmark determination in the 2008 Blue Mud Bay case that declared that Aboriginal people own the land between the low and high water mark. Marawili was instrumental in the development of the ‘Saltwater collection’ of bark paintings that document this connection to country and are now held in the National Maritime Museum, Sydney. Marawili is an artist of international standing and this work, ‘Lorr’ 2015, was created for Saltwater: the 14th Istanbul Biennial in 2015.

    In creating the work Marawili’s intention was to create an image that had healing properties and could absorb the difficult aspects of history, both within Turkey and across the world. Within the image Marawili refers to Mundukul, the lightning snake who may be manifest in multiple forms – from an arc of lightning over the ocean, or as a sandbar at the mouth of estuarine rives where the fresh water meets the salt water. Given these associations Mundukul is strongly aligned with the restorative powers of the wet season and the cleansing of country - he is able to swallow resentments and grief, allowing for a fresh beginning.

  • Places

    Where the work was made


  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 1 exhibition

    • Our Land, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 21 Jan 2017–18 Jun 2017

Other works by Djambawa Marawili AM