Alcaston Gallery, Vic Cat No. AK5887
Corporate Collection, Vic
Ginger Riley was born c.1937 near Maria Lagoon by the Limmen Bight River in Southern Arnhem Land. Riley’s paintings drew their inspiration from his mother’s country, the area surrounding four pyramidal hills, the Four Arches, some 45 kilometres inland from the Gulf of Carpentaria on the Limmen Bight River. Ginger’s iconography was informed by the sequence of events that took place there.
This work depicts the island of Yumunkuni (Beatrice Island) which was created by Ngak Ngak the Sea Eagle, the artist’s totem. Garimala the ancestral serpent, Bulukbun the fire-breathing snake, and Ngak Ngak witnessed the creation of the Four Arches. Their depiction in the scenes such as this work acts as a metaphor for the artist witnessing the creative acts of his ancestors. In this painting Bulukbun comes out of the sea to devour those who had offended him by performing a ritual incorrectly during the re-enactment of this part of the ceremony. The surrounding V shaped decoration is derived from body paint designs. The V shape is painted on each shoulder pointing to the nipple.Share