Collection Online

Aposiibiiruka (Butterfly)

earth and natural pigments on sago palm petiole
137.4 × 65.5 cm
Place/s of Execution
Bangwis village, Washkuk Hills, East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea
Accession Number
Pacific Art
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased through the NGV Foundation with the assistance of The Thomas William Lasham Fund, Founder Benefactor, 2001
© Courtesy of the copyright holder
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of The Vizard Foundation
Gallery location
Not on display
The painting depicts one of the numerous types of butterflies (Aposiibiiruka) found in the Washkuk Hills, all of which are totems of the artist’s clan. This type has predominantly white markings, represented by the white in this design. The painting depicts in highly stylised forms three separate butterflies, each represented by a pair of white triangular forms. The three pairs of triangular forms represent the insects’ wings, two black roundels within each pair of wings; enclosed within bands of yellow and red, represent the insects’ ‘eyes’ with the U-shaped lines in red at the centre of the top and bottom of the design represent ‘noses’.