Milka (teredo worms in the mangroves)
The Yolngu scholar, Dr Gumbala explained in 2014 that Djäwa celebrates the ‘food that is gathered in mangroves, very champion and popular food … bush tucker’ in 'Milka (teredo worms in the mangroves)' c1950s. They were painted by Djäwa for his maternal mari, or grandmother, who belonged to the Wubulkarra clan nation. Derived from the pattern made by milka on a sacred log when they burrow into its timber, they are painted as a trail of diamonds, a unique, abstracted design that is mesmerising in its repetition. In the upper section of the work a bold yellow form dominates. This is reminiscent of the tail of the trevally fish and is representative of all mandjikay, all groups of people coming together.
Bark painting (Teredo worms in the mangroves)
natural pigments on bark
65.4 x 31.1 cm
Not on display
© Djawa Estate. Licensed by Aboriginal Artist Agency Ltd, Sydney
Where the work was made
Shown in 2 exhibitions
Remembering Forward: An Exhibition of Major Australian Indigenous Artists, Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany, 20 Nov 2010–20 Mar 2011
Art from Milingimbi: taking memories back, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 12 Nov 2016–29 Jan 2017
Referenced in 2 publications
Emily Joyce Evans and Falk Wolf, Remembering forward: Australian Aboriginal painting since 1960, 'Bark paintings', pg. 102-123, Cologne, 2010, 107 (colour illus.), 118. cat.no. 47
Cara Pinchbeck, Art from Milingimbi, ‘Djawa’, pg. 76-85, Sydney, 2016, 81 (colour illus.), 141.