Susan WRAIGHT, Billabong Enlarge 1 /1

On display on Level 1


Great Britain born 1955

  • To Australia1983

Billabong 2014 Description: carved netsuke
Place made: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Materials & Technique: woodwork, boxwood, amber, buffalo horn, gold leaf, gold powder, oil Support: pauwlonia wood presentation case

Primary Insc: maker's mark stamped in gold inset into base
Dimensions: 4.2 diameter
Acknowledgement: Purchased 2015
Accession No: NGA 2015.919
  • Purchased 2015

Susan Wraight works within the conventions of the netsuke, the decorative sash-suspended fastener that forms part of traditional Japanese men’s dress. Investing this art form with imagery of the native fauna and flora of Australia, much of which is small and elusive, Wraight evokes the almost microscopic habitat of the billabong, capturing a fleeting encounter with creatures of that environment: a frog on a lotus leaf, a languid fish, -a dragonfly and a yabby hiding amongst water weed. Its intimate detail is formed for the pleasure of the hand and eye in a literal encapsulation of nature’s fragility and the poignancy of the passing moment it suggests.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2016
Author: Dr Robert Bell AM - Senior Curator Decorative Arts and Design