THE FLOOD, c.1963

Part 2: Important Aboriginal Art
27 November 2013


(1907 - 1979)
THE FLOOD, c.1963

natural earth pigments on bark

130.0 x 55.0 cm

Private sale

Methodist Mission, Yirrkala (label attached verso)
Jim Davidson collection, Melbourne
Private collection, Melbourne
Sotheby's, Melbourne, 15 November 2005, lot 90
Private collection, Sydney


Exhibition of Aboriginal Artists, Presented by The Aborigines Advancement League, The Melbourne Moomba Festival, Myer Melbourne, March 1964

Catalogue text

The distressed mission label attached verso states: 'This is sacred to the Gomaid (sic) tribe and is at Arnhem Bay. There has been a flood and the central panel shows the camp dogs which have been swept away by the water. The black, brown and yellow objects are sacred stones from which the natives get their ochres. The water flows on until it reaches a rock bar (black line) over which it flows. Left of this is a panel showing all the people in their bark huts when the rain comes. The next panel shows them swimming as they are swept away by the flood waters. Among the figures are two painted bone poles (hollow poles in which the bones of a dead person are placed) and three dillybags. The bottom section shows the people having reached higher ground wail for their camp. Then they turn into stones (yellow and black rectangles). The bird 'Gormolu' is sitting on one of the stones watching for fish. This pattern is repeated on the other side and the bird is seen catching two fish. The top right hand panel shows three men in a canoe chasing a dugong. The hatching is the sea water and the vertical lines show the tide going out.'