This Item was Sold on 8 July 2012
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This item is a very fine and large stringybark painting by Malawan Marika, grandson of Malawan Marika the first of the famous Marika artist clan. The bark is titled " The Djunkul Sisters at Yelanbirra " and is a creation myth of the Rirratjigu people. This information is written on the reverse side of the bark painting with the Maningrida catalogue number: BP0723. This painting was purchased by Ben Ruhe in 1992 at Maningrida in Arnhem Land. Ben is the brother of Dr. Ed Ruhe who collected a large number of bark paintings for the famous Kluge-Ruhe Collection. The collection is located at the University of Virginia.
The art depicts a rising sun at the top with a sacred water lizard ( goanna ) at the bottom. There are linked spirit footprints in the central area. Most of the surface is covered with fine cross hatching in traditional ochre colors over white pipe clay. The water goannas are the one whih were seen by the Djang'kawu sisters, two ancestral women who journeyed across Arnhem Land in the Dreaming (wangarr). The sisters began their journey in the East, leaving the mythical island at Burralku in their canoes and reaching the coast of Arnhem Land as it was lit by the rays of the riing sun. The sisters then gave birth to numerous children and sacred objects and then moved on other place to repeat their creative acts.
This is a large bark painting (17" x 45") and it is in very good condition, except for some slight, natural warping and miniscule checking. The pipeclay white is slightly discolored. There is a long, but very shallow axial split line on the inside surface of the bark. This is commonly found on older large barks due to moisture loss. Because of it's size, it will be very expensive to ship this bark painting, especially to international destinations.