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


Oysters growing on rocks at Guruwana

circa 1960


  • Details

    Other Title
    Oysters growing on rocks
    Place where the work was made
    Milingimbi Central Arnhem Land Northern Territory Australia
    circa 1960
    Media category
    Bark painting
    Materials used
    natural pigments on bark
    59.0 x 28.0 cm (irreg.)
    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Gift of Dr Stuart Scougall 1960
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Estate of Djimbarrdjimbarrwuy Garawirrtja/Copyright Agency

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Djimbarrdjimbarrwuy Garawirrtja

    Artist profile

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Djimbarrdjimbarrwuy gives brilliant form to the conditions found at particular places in country at certain times of the day. In 'Oysters growing on rocks at Guruwana' c1960 he depicts an important location on the mainland near Elcho Island, where oysters are found. The central form in the work alludes to a rock formation under the water, to which dead, broken, empty and full oyster shells are attached, their various states indicated by the differing colours and infill techniques. This tidal country is surrounded by mud, as indicated by the yellow bands that run horizontally across the work. In the related work 'Guruwana – a sacred place' c1959, Djimbarrdjimbarrwuy provides the additional element of a band of cross-hatching within the segment of mud to indicate the presence of rocks that are covered and uncovered by saltwater as the tides rise and fall.

  • Places

    Where the work was made


  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 3 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 2 publications

Other works by Djimbarrdjimbarrwuy Garawirrtja

See all 5 works