The Rain Men (Birimbira)
Munggurrawuy Yunupingu's bark paintings are complex, many layered narratives pertaining to the creation of the Gumatj homelands in north east Arnhem Land. The diamond shaped miny’tji (sacred clan designs) are distinctive to Yirritja moiety artworks. In these paintings, the journeys and actions of ancestor beings are revealed, accompanied by motifs representing the transformation they wrought up on the landscape, such as the smoke and ash of fires, footprints, thunderclouds and rain.
The Rain Men or Birimbira
natural pigments on bark
67.3 x 56.5 cm
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Gift of Dr Stuart Scougall 1959
© Estate of Munggurrawuy Yunupingu. licensed by Viscopy, Sydney.
Where the work was made
Shown in 4 exhibitions
Australian Aboriginal art: bark paintings, carved figures, sacred and secular objects: an exhibition arranged by the State art galleries of Australia, 1960-1961:
- Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney 17 Aug 1960–18 Sep 1960
- Queensland Art Gallery, South Brisbane Oct 1960–Oct 1960
- National Gallery of Victoria [Swanston Street], Melbourne Nov 1960–Dec 1960
- Western Australian Art Gallery, Perth Feb 1961–Mar 1961
- National Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide Apr 1961–Apr 1961
- Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart May 1961–Jun 1961
Gamarada, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 15 Nov 1996–16 Feb 1997
Bulada, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 23 Aug 1997–14 Dec 1997
ochre: bark paintings from the Collection (2000-01), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 02 Nov 2000–06 May 2001
Referenced in 1 publication
Frederick D. McCarthy, Australian Aboriginal art: bark paintings, carved figures, sacred and secular objects: an exhibition arranged by the State art galleries of Australia, 1960-1961, 'Introduction', pg. 7-17, Sydney, 1960, 28. cat.no. 74