The artist represents the shark's liver tree, a ceremonial totemic construction made from paperbark, not a natural tree. Called the shark's liver tree because the shark gave his liver from which it was created, it is part of Riley's mother's creation story. The tree was formed when the shark, finding his liver too heavy to carry, made this construction with the help of two brown snakes, often shown guarding the tree, as in this work. The wedge shapes, which frame three sides of this work, are derived from the artist's shoulder and chest body-paint designs. The patterned edge serves to anchor the work within the law and point to another layer of meaning, that of song, dance and ceremony, visible but not spoken.