Beginnings  
The Land  
Cities & Suburbs  
Boom & Bust  
Patriotic Duty  
At Ease  
Encounters  
Header Title Graphic
   NGA Home | Exhibition Information | Explore the Art  
   Decorative Arts   Drawing   Painting   Photography   Print   Sculpture    Browse Artists | A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z   

Unable to display image
due to Copyright Restrictions

View full details about this work
Theme: Patriotic Duty

Artist: Paddy FORDHAM WAINBURRANGA
Birth/Death: 1941

Title: How World War II began (through the eyes of the Rembarrnga)

Credit Line: Purchased 1990 National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.

Paddy Fordham Wainburranga has divided this bark painting into a number of sections to relay episodes of a complex moral tale — How World War II begun (through the eyes of the Rembarrnga) 1990. Japanese pearl divers and fishermen who worked the north coast of Australia traded tobacco, rice, sugar and alcohol for women. In 1941 a dispute broke out when a woman refused their advances. The Rembarrnga asked the Japanese to leave their lands. The Japanese returned and bombed Darwin. The Rembarrnga felt they had contributed to the Japanese attack and hence to the start of the Second World War. The Rembarrnga people of Arnhem Land were deeply and directly affected by the events of the Second World War.

The Japanese pearl divers and fishermen who worked the north coast of Australia traded tobacco, rice, sugar and alcohol for Aboriginal women. In 1941 a dispute broke out when a woman refused their advances, and the Japanese were banished by the Aborigines. Soon after the Japanese dropped bombs on Darwin and other places. The Rembarrnga people, who had asked the Japanese to leave their lands following the dispute, felt they had contributed to the attack that followed and hence the start of the war.

In the top right of the composition the Japanese are led away by the police, who can be identified by their wide brimmed hats and guns. The presence of the serpent is a reminder by the artist that the intruders were on Aboriginal land.



More details
Click image to enlarge