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


Wild Turkeys of the Ritaringon Dreaming




Language group: Gumatj, Arnhem region

No image
  • Details

    Other Title
    Wild Turkeys
    Place where the work was made
    North-east Arnhem Land Northern Territory Australia
    Media category
    Bark painting
    Materials used
    natural pigments on bark
    110.0 x 55.0 cm
    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Gift of Harry Messel 1989
    Not on display
    Accession number
    Artist information

    Works in the collection


  • About

    These small wild turkeys flew over from Elcho Island and landed between Cape Wilberforce and the English Company Islands, where today their eggs can be seen as smooth black stones (black ovals in painting).

    Yellow semi-circles throughout the painting represent water running down from the hills to the sea. In the centre panel of cross-hatching, on one side, is an octopus.

    Harry Messel

  • Places

    Where the work was made

    North-east Arnhem Land

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 1 exhibition

    • Gamarada, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 15 Nov 1996–16 Feb 1997

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 1 publication

    • Edmund Capon AM, OBE, Steven Miller, Tony Tuckson, James Scougall, Mollie Gowing, Harry Messel, Craig Brush, Ronald Fine, Alison Fine, Gordon Davies, Rosalind Davies, Christopher Hodges, Helen Eager, Rosemary Gow, Sandra Phillips, Daphne Wallace and Ken Watson, Gamarada, Sydney, 1996, 56 (colour illus.).