Collection Online
earth pigments on bark
185.6 × 78.1 cm
Place/s of Execution
Yirrkala, Northern Territory
Accession Number
Indigenous Art
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased through The Art Foundation of Victoria with the assistance of Jan and Bill Conn, Members, 1989
© Munggurrawuy Yunupingu/Licensed by VISCOPY, Sydney
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of The Vizard Foundation
Gallery location
Gallery 13
Level 3, NGV Australia
About the work

This work represents the wangarr (ancestral) fire, which occurred during an important Yirritja ceremony held at Ngalarrwuy in Gumatj country. This came about as fire ¬– brought to the Madarrpa clan country by Bäru, the ancestral crocodile – spread further to other sites. The fire spread rapidly, scorching the sacred objects and burning many of the participants. The fire is represented by the diamond design. Black signifies ashes; yellow, the glow of the fire; and dots the sparks.