David MALANGI DAYMIRRINGU | Gurrmirringu Story

Australia 1927 – 1999
Gurrmirringu Story
Four snakes in total including two yellow snakes looping to central bottom arc. 1979
Bark Painting
natural pigments on eucalyptus bark
84.0 (h) x 60.0 (w) cm
Purchased 2001 National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
NGA 2001.157
© David Malangi. Licensed by VISCOPY, Australia

One day, Gurrmirringu was carrying home the fruits of a good day’s hunting when he rested by a waterhole in the shade of a wurrumbuku [white berry tree] to cook some of his catch. Some stories record that an evil spirit lurked in the trees roots causing a king brown snake to rise from the roots and bite Gurrmirringu, killing him.

The evil tree spirit was an occasional subject of Malangi’s. The evil connotation was expressed in painting by a beaked and clawed diagonal figure and jagged forms merging with the gnarled tree forms.

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