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

🛈 Find out what you need to know before visiting


Snakes and fish anticipating rain

circa 1950s


Dawidi Birritjama


1921 – 1970

Language group: Liyagalawumirr, Arnhem region

Artist profile

  • Details

    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
    44.0 x 17.0 cm (irreg.)
    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Purchased 1962
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Dawidi Estate. Licensed by Aboriginal Artists Agency Ltd

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Dawidi Birritjama

    Artist profile

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Dawidi explores the potential of diverse infill in the painting 'Snakes and fish anticipating rain' c1950s. Divided into two fields, the upper section contains two simple fish, set between bands of fresh water. In the lower section seven snakes eagerly travel in one direction, while one defiant fish breaks through, forcing its way upstream in the opposite direction. With each figure individually adorned and sparkling fields of dots included in the background, it is a striking work, alive with the intensity of country that will be brought by the anticipated rains.

  • Places

    Where the work was made


  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 3 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 4 publications

Other works by Dawidi Birritjama

See all 7 works