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Ochres on bark, in wooden box frame. Depicts two male Mimi with elbows slightly bent and heads facing right. Both painted in white, with black, white and yellow crosshatching on bodies. Red background.
The Sandra Holmes collection no. 6 comprises a bark painting and a wooden sculpture. The painting is in a wooden box frame. It has been executed in ochres on bark, featuring a rectangle with two rounded forms on the top, decorated in bands of colour with white dots. The bands are divided into triangular designs of intricate rarrk patterning and crosshatched in yellow and white on a red background. The sculpture is of a bird standing on a half-spherical wooden base. The paint design consists of a solid black background on which the head, throat and breast of the bird are outlined in white and filled with solid colour of red or yellow, and the wings outlined in white and filled with yellow and white dashes. The pigment colours of yellow, black and white are those traditionally used in the Northern Territory.
Both objects in this collection are associated with death. The bark painting is believed to be from Croker Island. The two forms on the bark painting represent the hollow log ceremony or lorrkon traditionally performed on Croker Island. In this ceremony the bones of a dead person are placed in a hollow log coffin and their spirits sent via a sacred string to the spirit world. The criss-cross section and vertical lines are said to represent the dancing ground and log. The carved bird is said to represent the death bird from the Northern Territory. The death bird is a messenger of death and accompanies the dead person back to the spirit world. Sandra Holmes worked for some years as an anthropological researcher for the Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies (AIS now AIATSIS). Throughout this time, she assembled a vast collection of Tiwi and Northern Territory Aboriginal art, and recorded and photographed a number of ceremonies for the Institute?s Canberra archives. The largest collection of her art, the ?Holmes-Tiwi Collection?, is currently held in the Museum and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory, Darwin.
L 600mm x W 245mm