An image of Small clouds

Makani Wilingarr

(Australia 1905 – 1984)

Milingimbi, Arnhem region, Ramingining, Arnhem region
Language group
Mildjingi, Arnhem region

Small clouds

Other titles:
Bark painting (Triangular motif)
Not on display
Further information

Makani excelled in a form of abstract purity, as seen in 'Small clouds' c1950. On an entirely visual level it is an intriguing work, such is the balance between form, colour and delicate miny’tji (clan designs). The triangular forms within this image refer to small clouds. With their ends demarcated in solid colour, the clouds in the upper section are reflected in the lower through a form of random symmetry. All pairs, bar one, meet at the central yellow line and the colours are the inverse of the triangle they reflect. The miny’tji in the upper section all flows in the one diagonal direction. In the lower section, however, a more complex arrangement is at play, forming a chevron-like pattern, the optical shifts of which imbue the work with energy. Mildjingi call these wet season clouds djarrupung and they relate to the travels of an ancestor sacred to that clan and estates in the Glyde River area on the mainland opposite.

Place of origin
Milingimbi, Central Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, Australia
circa 1950
Bark painting
natural pigments on bark
74.3 x 47.0 cm
Purchased 1959
Accession number
© Makani Estate. Licensed by Copyright Agency.