Collection Online
watercolour and pencil on inkjet print on canvas
74.2 × 203.0 cm
Place/s of Execution
Adelaide, South Australia
Accession Number
Indigenous Art
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased, Victorian Foundation for Living Australian Artists, 2008
© Nici Cumpston
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of The Vizard Foundation
Gallery location
Not on display
About the work

Nici Cumpston is a descendant of the Barkindji people. This image – from her photographic series based on Nookamka (Lake Bonney) – expresses her concern and reverence for the Riverland region of South Australia where she grew up.

Keenly aware of the environmental crisis facing this polluted and over-salinated network of water-ways, Cumpston’s hand-coloured photographs capture the majesty of the eucalypts that remain as well as the fragile beauty of the stumps devoid of branches.

Cumpston has said of this landscape, ‘I can feel the presence of our ancestors while walking amongst the many scar trees that are scattered throughout the backwaters. The scars in the trees are where Aboriginal people have made coolamons – shields or canoes from the outer layers of bark. They attest to the presence of Aboriginal occupation of the land.’