David MALANGI DAYMIRRINGU | Manharrngu mortuary rites (2)

Australia 1927 – 1999
Manharrngu mortuary rites (2)
goanna and human figure diagonally centre right, catfish centre left, plant forms with white berries 1969
Bark Painting
natural pigments on eucalyptus bark
121.0 (h) x 43.5 (w) cm
Purchased 1987 National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
NGA 1987.758
© David Malangi. Licensed by VISCOPY, Australia

The wurrumbuku [white berry tree] identifies Gurrmirringu’s presence. He harvested fruit and scattered the berries across the landscape including the nearby islands of Garangala and Mooroonga.

The significance of the wurrumbukuin association with Gurrmirringu is expressed by Malangi in a number of ways. The berries are sometimes scattered across the background of the painting as well as aligned with the tree’s leaves. In sculptural work, the berry tree and the figure of Gurrmirringu become synonymous, with berries adorning the figure.

The white berry tree became a signature design for Malangi.

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