David MALANGI DAYMIRRINGU | River mouth map

Australia 1927 – 1999
River mouth map
133.1984 Central black vertical (river) flanked by two sides which feature plants and animals. "Union jack" type motif top right 1983
Bark Painting
natural pigments on eucalyptus bark
136.0 (h) x 73.0 (w) cm
Purchased 1984 Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
© David Malangi. Licensed by VISCOPY, Australia

In the early 1980s Malangi created a new mode of representation in a series of paintings which, in their composition, mapped and bridged his Glyde River country. The common central structure is a black vertical shaft sweeping up from the bottom edge to the top of the bark, dividing it into two parallel columns representing Manharrngu country flanking the Glyde River.

This construction enabled Malangi to divide the bark into further sections — vignettes or aspects — where neither a reliance on chronological order nor literal map making was a consideration.

These paintings encompass iconography of the entire river mouth area. Relating to Gurrmirringu and his story on the eastern side of the river are depictions of a sand bank at the river’s mouth where Gurrmirringu sat; Garangala reef with the lunggu that he threw; the food of Gurrmirringu ¾ gelgidi [vine], räkay [water reed], rungi [yams] and räga [berries] ¾ little rivers of the area, and bilma [clapsticks]. Images relating to the Djan'kawu Ancestors, significant to the river’s western side, are the waterhole Milminydjarrk, dhona [sacred digging sticks], fish and shellfish.

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