Collection Online
earth pigments on Stringybark (Eucalyptus sp.)
188.3 × 66.5 cm
Place/s of Execution
Yirrkala, Northern Territory
Accession Number
Indigenous Art
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased with funds donated by Julie Kantor, 2013
© Nonggirrnga Marawili, courtesy of Buku-Larrnggay Mulka Centre, Yirrkala
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
The artist represents Bol’ngu, the Thunderman. Bol’ngu travelled from the Wessel Islands south through Country of various Dhuwa moiety clans. He was both man and wolma, the heavy cloud that brings the first rains of the wet season. He travelled in the clouds, and rain fell when he urinated. Associated with Bol’ngu are ‘arrpan, his spear, visible as a shooting star; ba’atj, his club, which he throws to make thunder; and a curved stick that symbolises clouds. The waterspout, which sucks sea water into the clouds in bulunu, or early dry season south-easterly winds, is a manifestation of Bol’ngu and bears his name.