Australia 1930 – 1998
Aurukun, Cape York Peninsula, Queensland, Australia
Materials & Technique: sculptures, natural pigments on wood, natural fibre
‘In the early 1950s boldly figurative sculpture emerged from Aurukun. Recent works are often composite in nature, usually painted in broad areas of colour, similar to ceremonial body decorations, and represent ancestral beings in human form.’
(Howard Morphy, Aboriginal Art, 1998, p. 92)
This sculpture is associated with the tragic story of the two Quail women who ‘sang’ to each other across the Kirke estuary, mourning the death of one of the sisters’ babies. The dotting on the figure relates to the shimmering of clear water after the monsoon season in western Cape York Peninsula.
Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra