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


Bulukminy (file snakes) near Buckingham Bay

circa 1950s


  • Details

    Other Title
    Bark painting (Male and female snakes, showing eggs)
    Place where the work was made
    Milingimbi Central Arnhem Land Northern Territory Australia
    circa 1950s
    Media category
    Bark painting
    Materials used
    natural pigments on bark
    17.0 x 58.0 cm (irreg.)
    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Purchased 1962
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Estate of Djimbarrdjimbarrwuy Garawirrtja/Copyright Agency

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Djimbarrdjimbarrwuy Garawirrtja

    Artist profile

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Alive with detail, this work refers to the file snake that is connected to Djumbarrdjimbarrwuy’s clan estate in Buckingham Bay and associated with the Wägilak sisters. One snake is clearly evident in deep black on the right of the work, while another is embedded within the vertical design, its adorned skin camouflaging it within the field of dots to its right. Trails of eggs alternate with the snakes, their cross-hatched forms rendered in the same format but in the opposing direction to the cross-hatching employed on the edges of the work. Creating a sense of tension and movement, this dynamism is intensified by the brilliant dotted fields set against bands of pure colour in the central section; the resulting effect is one of flickering luminosity.

  • Places

    Where the work was made


  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 1 exhibition

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 1 publication

    • Cara Pinchbeck, Art from Milingimbi, ‘Djimbarrdjimbarrwuy’, pg. 86-91, Sydney, 2016, 88 (colour illus.), 141.

Other works by Djimbarrdjimbarrwuy Garawirrtja

See all 5 works