Collection Online
earth pigments on Kapok (Bombax ceiba) and Paperbark (Melaleuca sp.), polyvinyl acetate
(a-i) 310.0 × 131.0 × 130.0 cm
Place/s of Execution
Bolkdjam, Northern Territory
Accession Number
Indigenous Art
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Presented through the NGV Foundation by Louis Partos, Fellow, 2003
Gallery location
Not on display
In this work, magical clusters of paperbark Wurum figures animate the painted branches of the kordow tree. Wurum is a spirit-being of human form associated with a site called Kukaddjerre in the Balngarra clan estate south of Maningrida. Wurum carries fish in dilly bags and is sometimes depicted with fins called konno on his legs and arms, suggesting a transformational human–fish nature. In order to create an abundance of certain fish species, Rembarrnga people would draw an image of Wurum on the side of a tree, sleep for a night and an increase of fish would follow.