An image of Bulukminy (file snakes) near Buckingham Bay

Djimbarrdjimbarrwuy Garawirrtja

(Australia 1932 – 1981)

Milingimbi, Arnhem region, Galiwinj'ku (Elcho Island), Arnhem region
Language group
Gupapuyngu, Arnhem region, Birrkili, Arnhem region

Bulukminy (file snakes) near Buckingham Bay

Other titles:
Bark painting (Male and female snakes, showing eggs)
Not on display
Further information

Alive with detail, this work refers to the file snake that is connected to Djumbarrdjimbarrwuy’s clan estate in Buckingham Bay and associated with the Wägilak sisters. One snake is clearly evident in deep black on the right of the work, while another is embedded within the vertical design, its adorned skin camouflaging it within the field of dots to its right. Trails of eggs alternate with the snakes, their cross-hatched forms rendered in the same format but in the opposing direction to the cross-hatching employed on the edges of the work. Creating a sense of tension and movement, this dynamism is intensified by the brilliant dotted fields set against bands of pure colour in the central section; the resulting effect is one of flickering luminosity.

Place of origin
Milingimbi, Central Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, Australia
circa 1950s
Bark painting
natural pigments on bark
17.0 x 58.0 cm (irreg.)
Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.

Purchased 1962
Accession number
© Lipundja. Licensed by Copyright Agency