Collection Online

Ukuba she (Waterlily plant and flower)

earth and natural pigments on sago palm petiole
107.9 × 81.5 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
Physical description
The painting depicts the flower, flower stalks and underwater stem of a type of water lily plant that is one of the artist’s clan totems. Waterlilies grow in abundance on the lagoons that surround the Washkuk Hills; their edible seeds provide Kwoma people and their neighbouring river people source of food. The ten rosettes distributed around the edge of the bark depict the plant’s showy flowers. The attached solid white lines represent their stalk and the circular forms in the centre depict the plant’s long underwater stem.