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1985.0259.0072 is one of seven bark paintings that appear on Davidson's collection list under the heading 'Notes on bark paintings ? Daymirri the Whale ? Dhuwa moiety'. The following explanation comprises two parts: a general account that precedes the individual descriptions of works and the description for 1985.0259.0072.
This series on Daymirri consists of seven bark paintings by various artists.
An ancestor of Mawalan and Mathaman was supposed to have been swallowed by Daymirri who finally spat him out on the beach where he was found dead. I have heard a number of accounts of whales destroying canoes, and it is said the two circles on the tail are mouths with which it applies suction to the bottom of a canoe and pulls it under.
The canoes are more likely to be destroyed by a flow from the whales [sic] tail (Collection list for Davidson collection, p. 8).
This was painted when Wandjuk was at his peak as an artist. The lower half of the painting shows the tail of the whale Daymirri after it had been killed. In the centre is the Malay parang used in cutting up the whale. Top left is the ancestor said to have been swallowed, and spat out by Daymirri (Collection list for Davidson collection, p. 9).
A bark painting worked with ochres on bark. It is divided into two main panels by a central band depicting a knife with a long black blade. The upper panel depicts a man holding a paddle over his head and two further men in a boat spearing a yellow whale. To the right is an octopus-like creature. The lower panel contains a pattern of curved vertical and horizontal shapes with a large fin-like yellow shape beneath them.
W 550mm x H 1260mm x D 30mm
Verified by D Kaus 29/10/2012
Place of issue