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This is the stone spear from our country Ngilibitji. They are special stones: they are underneath the ground, so they are soft. When you hit them with a rock, when they break off, it comes off sharp like a knife. We use them for spear and axe. Before, when we been in the bush, we had no knife, no axe, no gun, we used this stone for geƫng kangaroo, cuƫng turtle, anything. When the rock is in the water you can see it shine, but you can’t go get them. They are too sharp and would cut your feet. We call them gwarda. The ones on the side are in the ground.
Top End Bugi is a showcase of innovation and expertise from the Arnhem Land Artists of Buku-Larrŋgay Mulka Centre, Ngukurr Arts Aboriginal Corporation and Maningrida Arts and Culture. Presenting a series of works on Stringybark and selection of Larrakitj, Top End Bugi celebrates the creativity and diversity of bark artists, emerging and established. Connecting city and country, Top End Bugi is a spotlight for contemporary bark art, combining Top End, a collective term given to the northernmost region of the Northern Territory and Bugi, the Darug (Sydney Aboriginal Language) word for bark.
As a cultural practice, bark art is a continuation of tradition, passing down sacred stories, designs and teachings through intricate strokes. The collection process begins after the wet season when the Stringybark tree is stripped, cured by fire, weighted and left to dry. Then using earth pigments, designs are layered, often with crosshatched strokes that speak to the cultural identity and visual language of the artist.
Artist: Norman Wilfred
Title: Stone Spears, 461-19.
Medium: Bark Painting
Dimensions: 90 x 30cm
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