Philip GUDTHAYKUDTHAY, Warrala Warrala Enlarge 1 /1

Philip GUDTHAYKUDTHAY

Liyagalawumirr people

Ramingining, central Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, Australia born 1933 /1937

Warrala Warrala 1987 Place made: Ramingining, Central Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, Australia
Materials & Technique: paintings, bark paintings, natural earth pigments on eucalyptus bark

Dimensions: 180.0 h x 100.0 w cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1987
Accession No: NGA 87.1041
Image rights: © Philip Gudthaykudthay. Licensed by Viscopy

Warrala Warrala is the Praying Mantis spirit or Mewal. The presence of the spirit with Wititj the Olive Python and yams in this picture identifies it with the ancestral Wagilag Sisters narrative, which chronicles the first monsoon and links Dhuwa moiety clans in central and eastern Arnhem Land through ceremony.

This work is a characteristic example of Gudthaykudthay’s distinctive style where figurative elements are juxtaposed with a dense matrix of fine rarrk. The artist’s typically ungainly figures, fluidly drawn in profile and aerial perspectives, sit amid fields of rarrk, shifting in direction and energy, to create a swirl of movement. The black circle drawn in Mewal’s head evokes the waterhole that is the home of the ancestral Wititj, where he encountered the Wagilag Sisters who had camped there.

A number of Gudthaykudthay’s bark paintings—almost entirely made up of dense rarrk—brought him to the attention of the art world in the early 1980s, when artists from Ramingining were gaining prominence. Gudthaykudthay began painting at Milingimbi in the 1960s under the tutelage of senior artists. When he moved to Ramingining his work was selected for national and international exhibitions.

Known colloquially as ‘Pussycat’ after one of his principal totems, Burruwara the Native Cat, Gudthaykudthay has worked as a stockman, fencer and crocodile hunter. The enigmatic Pussycat has even acted in a movie, playing the sorcerer in Rolf de Heer’s film Ten canoes in 2006.

Susan Jenkins


Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2010
From: Franchesca Cubillo and Wally Caruana (eds) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art: collection highlights National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2010

格待格待·菲利普 (GUDTHAYKUDTHAY, Philip)
《螳螂神》(Warrala Warrala)
1987年
桉树皮,天然色料
180.00(高) x 100.00(宽)厘米
1987年购买
87.1041

Warrala Warrala 是螳螂神,也称Mewal。画作中,与巨蟒(Wititj)巴布亚蟒(Olive Python)和山药共同呈现的螳螂神与祖传的瓦基拉姐妹(Wagilag Sisters)故事一致,故事记录了第一个雨季,并通过仪式将中部与东部阿纳姆地的杜瓦(Dhuwa)分支部落联系起来。

这幅作品是格待格待独特风格的典型代表作,比喻元素和密集的精细交叉排线矩阵并列。艺术家从剖面和俯瞰视角绘制的形象线条流畅,具有典型的笨拙感,四周布满交叉排线区域,通过方向与活力变换增添一抹动感。画在螳螂神头部中间的黑色圆圈让人想起巨蟒祖先居住的水潭,他遇到了在水潭边临时安顿的瓦基拉姐妹。

格待格待众多的树皮画,几乎完全由稠密的交叉排线构成,这使他于1980年代初得到了艺术界的关注,当时,来自瑞民吉宁(Ramingining)的艺术家正日益受到关注。1960年代,在资深艺术家的指导下,格待格待在米灵金比(Milingimbi)开始画画。当他移居瑞民吉宁时,其作品被选参加国内国际展览。

人们用格待格待所属部落主要图腾之一的袋猫布鲁瓦拉(Burruwara)给他取了一个俗称,即“Pussycat(猫)”,他当过仓库管理员、篱笆匠和鳄鱼猎人。这只高深莫测的猫甚至还演过一部电影,在洛夫·德·希尔2006年拍摄的《十只独木舟》里扮演了巫师角色。

Susan Jenkins
苏珊·詹金斯


Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra