Artwork certificate provided.
Kinga, the saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) is a highly respected and feared animal, associated with many Dreaming sites in Arnhem Land. In the past it was also hunted for food. Kinga can travel in salt water or fresh water, and often travel long distances between river systems. Kinga make their nests in the long grass or forest areas close to rivers, billabongs and water holes. These are piles of mud and vegetation where they lay their eggs. They are very aggressive around their nests. The crocodile is shown with barramundis and water lilies.
We have two types of crocodiles – “kumoken” and “kinga”. Kumoken is the long nosed crocodile, different from the short nosed kinga (saltwater crocodile). Kumoken is the quiet (non-aggressive) one.
Kunwinjku art is part of the oldest continuous art tradition in the world. Ancestors of today’s artists have been painting the rock walls of West Arnhem Land for tens of thousands of years. The traditional palette of white, red, yellow and black comes from the ochre that naturally occurs in the region, although contemporary artists sometimes choose to paint in acrylics as well. Kunwinjku artists famously paint using either the traditional rarrk hatching technique, or the more contemporary and complex cross hatching technique which has been adapted from ceremonial painting. These lines are carefully painted using a manyilk, which is a piece of sedge grass shaved down until only a few fibres remain.
Allan Namaniyuo Biography
- Year: 2023
- Artist skin name: Balang
- Clan: Burarra/Bininj-Kunwok
- Born: 1984
- Language group: Kunwinjku
- Community: Gunbalanya (Oenpelli) NT
Allan grew up in Gunbalanya (Oenpelli) in West Arnhem Land and learned to paint from his grandfather and father in Maningrida. He paints in both acrylic and ochre and is inspired by the stories painted on Injalak Hill and the plants and animals that live around his home in West Arnhem Land. He has a lyrical style and often favours symmetry in his artworks. Allan is also an Injalak Hill Tour Guide.