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Small clouds

circa 1950


Makani Wilingarr


1905 – 1984

Language group: Mildjingi, Arnhem region

Artist profile

  • Details

    Other Title
    Bark painting (Triangular motif)
    Place where the work was made
    Milingimbi Central Arnhem Land Northern Territory Australia
    circa 1950
    Media category
    Bark painting
    Materials used
    natural pigments on bark
    74.3 x 47.0 cm
    Purchased 1959
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Estate of Makani Wilingarr/Copyright Agency

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Makani Wilingarr

    Artist profile

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Makani excelled in a form of abstract purity, as seen in 'Small clouds' c1950. On an entirely visual level it is an intriguing work, such is the balance between form, colour and delicate miny’tji (clan designs). The triangular forms within this image refer to small clouds. With their ends demarcated in solid colour, the clouds in the upper section are reflected in the lower through a form of random symmetry. All pairs, bar one, meet at the central yellow line and the colours are the inverse of the triangle they reflect. The miny’tji in the upper section all flows in the one diagonal direction. In the lower section, however, a more complex arrangement is at play, forming a chevron-like pattern, the optical shifts of which imbue the work with energy. Mildjingi call these wet season clouds djarrupung and they relate to the travels of an ancestor sacred to that clan and estates in the Glyde River area on the mainland opposite.

  • Places

    Where the work was made


  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 2 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 2 publications

Other works by Makani Wilingarr

See all 16 works