RAFT, c.2003

The Collection of William and Lucy Mora
21 July 2010

Roy Wiggan

born 1930
RAFT, c.2003

synthetic polymer paint on hardwood, with natural and commercially-dyed wool

110.0 x 240.0 cm

$5,000 - 7,000
Sold for $3,840 (inc. BP) in Auction 15 - 21 July 2010, Melbourne

William Mora Galleries, Melbourne
The Collection of William and Lucy Mora, Melbourne


Roy Wiggan: Recent Ilmas, William Mora Galleries, 5 – 28 June 2003

Sold with an accompanying DVD of Old Country New Country – The Journey of a Raft, featuring Roy Wiggan passing on to his nephew Albert the stories and traditional aboriginal craft of raft-making

Catalogue text

Roy Wiggan is a senior Bardi man who is the custodian of many traditional stories and songs of his people. He is the only member of his community entitled to make new ilma, rare, hand-held ceremonial objects which allow Bardi people to learn and access their stories, law and songs.

The reverence in which ilma are held meant that traditionally they were not sold. Wiggan made the decision to sell his work commercially, in the hope that the ilma will be preserved for future generations through the Western art and museum system. His first solo exhibition was held at William Mora Galleries in 2002.

Most of Roy's ilma designs come to him through the spirit of his deceased father, Henry Wiggan, who skippered the Sunday Island Mission lugger. Indeed, there is whole series of dances based on the life and adventures of Henry Wiggan.

The designs of this ilma revolve around an epic saga in Henry's life when he was washed out into the Indian Ocean on a broken raft. He survived for three days before freak tides and spirits carried him back to Sunday Island.