Wakwak (Black Crow Dreaming)

This painting depicts a sacred site at Kurrurldul, an outstation south of Maningrida.

The ‘rarrk’, or abstract crosshatching, on this work represents the design for the crow totem ancestor called Djimarr. Today this being exists in the form of a rock, which is permanently submerged at the bottom of Kurrurldul Creek. The Djimarr rock in the stream at Kurrurldul is said to move around and call out in a soft hooting tone at night. Both the stone itself and the area around it are considered sacred.

The imagery represents the Djimarr rock at the bottom of Kurrurldul creek – the final transmutation of the Djimarr ancestor being. It also references the crow design used in the sacred Mardayin ceremony, a large regional patrimoiety ceremony now rarely conducted in central and eastern Arnhem Land.