Yawkyawk – Janet Marawarr

Black ink on white cotton. 

‘Yawkyawk swim underneath the rock. They always stay there. When the sun comes out they come out from underneath the river, make themselves warm. They sit and they look around. When they sit, they cry to themselves. Ngaldjorlhbo (mother of everything) she created them – yawkyawk and the other one [Ngalng].

The Mimih one is a long way from the stone country. He is from my uncles country Bardijokhang. My uncle is the famous artist Crusoe Kurddal and he carves and paints Mimih.  

Sometimes yawkyawk sit inside the rock. Sometimes they go out to find the food manme and the mankung (sugarbag). Also they can sing inside the rock cave. Sometimes yawkyawk will see the big rain. When the big rain comes they start looking and when the rain comes they go inside and hide themselves.

Some yawkyawk stay on the dry land in a special place inland from Bardijolhwang.

Some of the stones get stuck on the breasts of the yawkyawk.

There are two yawkyawk in this artwork. One, the wet season yawkyawk has a round face and long hair. The dry season yawkyawk has short hair. There are lots of different yawkyawk in the water.

In my fabric they are all coming together with the grass trees and leaves and the blowing wind. Some of the leaves will fall onto the water. All the round shapes are kunred (rocky country) with dry grass.

This country is called Gamadery (sp), which is located near Mankorlod and Korlobididah, Arnhem Land.’ 

Janet Marawarr 2022