An image of Lorrkon (hollow log)

Samuel Namunjdja

(Australia 1965 – May 2018)

Mankorlod, Arnhem region
Language group
Kuninjku, Arnhem region

Lorrkon (hollow log)

Not on display
Further information

Samuel Namunjdja is one of the leading artists working at Maningrida. He was taught to paint by his father, the renowned western Arnhem Land artist, Peter Marrralwanga. Namunjdja has also worked closely with John Mawurndjul, his brother-in-law, whose influence is evident. Namunjdja is recognised for his detailed figurative works. However, it is his seemingly abstract works dominated by fields of exquisite line-work, in geometric form that have brought him wide acclaim. Namunjdja began painting in this style in 2003 and over time has refined his technique to achieve the precise, meticulous rarrk seen in ‘Lorrkon (hollow log)’ 2014.

With vivid white underpainting and the careful mixing of yellow and red ochre to create delicate tonal shifts in orange, this work is seemingly luminous. This is Namunjdja’s intention as the geometric designs in the work are a representation of djang (sacred sites). In painting djang Namunjdja aims to give visual form to the power embedded in these sites, to reflect their dynamism and importance.

Within Kuninjku painting white ochre, or delek, is understood to be the faeces of Ngalyod (the rainbow serpent) and therefore the transformed bodies of the ancestral beings she swallowed. Delek is imbued with the power of these beings, with the dazzling brilliance of its whiteness also denoting Ngalyod’s power.

Place of origin
Maningrida, Central Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, Australia
natural pigments on wood
214.0 x 24.0 x 24.0 cm
Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.

Mollie Gowing Acquisition Fund for Contemporary Aboriginal Art 2015
Accession number
© Samuel Namunjdja. Licensed by Copyright Agency